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NY Mansion Converted to Venue Suitable for Base, Cricket, Trap-Ball

Salience Prominent
Tags Pre-Knicks NYC
Location NYC
Game Cricket
Age of Players Adult

In May and June 1821, an ad ran in some NY papers announcing that the Mount Vernon mansion was now open as Kensington House. It could accommodate dinners and tea parties and clubs. What's more, later versions of the ad said: "The grounds of Kensington House are spacious and well adapted to the playing of the noble game of cricket, base, trap-ball, quoits and other amusements; and all the apparatus necessary for the above games will be furnished to clubs and parties."

Richard Hershberger posted to 19CBB on Kensington House on 10/7/2007, having seen the ad in the June 9, 1821 New YorkGazette and General Advertiser. Richard suggested that "in this context "base is almost certainly baseball, not prisoner's base." John Thorn [email of 3/1/2008] later found a May 22, 1821 Kensington ad in the Evening Post that did not mention sports, and ads starting on June 2 that did.

Richard points out that the ad's solicitation to "clubs and parties" may indicate that some local groups were forming to play the mentioned games long before the first base ball clubs are known to have played.  



June 9, 1821 New York Gazette and General Advertiser

See also Richard Hershberger, "New York Mansion Converted -- An Early Sighting of Base Ball Clubs?," Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 58-60.

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Have we found any further indications that 1820-era establishments may have served to host regular base ball clubs?

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