American Cricket

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Game American Cricket
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Regions US
Eras Derivative, 1800s
Invented Yes
Description

A hybrid cricket-baseball game reportedly introduced in Chicago in 1870. The game is described as generally  having cricket rules, except with no LBW rule, and with the addition of a third base, so that the bases form a triangle with sides of 28-yards. We have no other accounts of this game.

Full text:  

"A NEW AMERICAN GAME

The Philadelphia Mercury contains the following: 'A new game of ball has recently been introduced in Chicago, under the name of American cricket.  The field is laid out like a cricket-field, and the striker wields the willow instead of the ash.  The bowler, who stands twenty-two yards from the striker, bowls as in cricket.  The striker, in making a tally, runs to first base and then to third (dispensing with the  second), these being in the form of a triangle and at a distance of twenty-eight yards apart.  There are no fouls to cause delays. There are none of the stupid and senseless six-ball 'overs.' 'Out leg before wicket' is dispensed with, a rule which, while in force, gives great annoyance to the umpire and general dissatisfaction to the batsman.  The prominent and attractive features of both the English game of  cricket and the American pastime of base-ball are taken and rolled into one, thereby making a magnificent game.'"

 

 

Sources

Reportedly in the Philadelphia Mercury.  An account of the article  appeared in the Penny Illustrated Paper (London), December 17, 1870 (page 370).  Contributed by Tom Shieber, email of 2/25/2009.

This game is cited -- ("this contrived game proved to be acceptable to no one and was quickly forgotten") in Tom Melville, The Tented Field: A History of Cricket in America (Bowling Green State University Press, 1998), page 149.  Melville attributes the introduction of the game to game to J. Wood, secretary of the Chicago Cricket Club. 

Protoball does not have a Philadelphia Mercury source for this report. 

 

Comment

In May 2017 a Protoball functionary looked for more information on 'American Cricket" and other hybrid forms of base ball and cricket.

There is a website that lists 34 rule-sets for hybrid games at http://newmodernsports.weebly.com.  Several of these games list baserunning games as being subject to deliberate hybridization.

Game #15 on this list undertakes to amalgamate American baseball, Welsh baseball, and cricket as "baseball-cricket" -- see http://newmodernsports.weebly.com/composite-rules-baseball-cricket.html.

There is no indication that this game (or the other 33) is actively being played.



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