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NYS Traveler Notes Dutch Boys Playing "Bat and Ball"

Salience Prominent
Location New York State
Game Xenoball, Bat and Ball
Age of Players Juvenile

Gideon Hawley (1727-1807), traveling through the area where Binghamton now is, wrote: "even at the celebration of the Lord's supper [the Dutch boys] have been playing bat and ball the whole term around the house of God."

Hawley, Gideon, Rev. Gideon Hawley's Journal [Broome County, NY 1753], page 1041. Collection of Tom Heitz. Per Patricia Millen, From Pastime to Passion [2001], page 2.


Writing in 2011, Brian Turner discerns that "bat and ball" maybe the name of a defined game, and not just a generic term.  See Brian Turner, "Bat and Ball: A Distinct Game or a Generic Term?", Base Ball Journal (Special Issue on Origins), Volume 5, number 1 (Spring 2011), pages 37-40.  He finds several uses of the phrase in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, most of them north and east of Boston.

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