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Two NYC Clubs Known to Play Pre-modern Base Ball -- Use the Plugging of Runners

Salience Prominent
Tags Pre-Knicks NYC, Pre-modern Rules
City/State/Country: Manhattan, NY, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult

[A] "The history of the present style of playing Base Ball (which of late years has been much improved) was commenced by the Knickerbocker Club in 1845. There were two other clubs in the city that had an organization that date back as far as 1832, the members of one of which mostly resided in the first ward, the lower part of the city, the other in the upper part of the city (9th and 15th wards). Both of these clubs played in the old-fashioned way of throwing the ball and striking the runner, in order to put him out. To the Knickerbocker Club we are indebted for the present improved style of playing the game, and since their organization they have ever been foremost in altering or modifying the rules when in their judgment it would tend to make the game more scientific."

[B] John Thorn has added: "The club from lower Manhattan evolves into the New York Club (see entry 1840.5) and later splits into the Knickerbockers and Gothams. The club from upper Manhattan evolves into the Washington Club (see entry 1843.2) which in turn gives way to the Gothams."



William Wood, Manual of Physical Exercises. (Harper Bros., 1867), pp. 189-90. Per John Thorn, 6/15/04. Note: Wood provides no source.

Reported in Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden (Simon and Schuster, 2011), pages 32 and 307.



Wood was only about 13 years old in 1832, according to Fred E. Leonard, Pioneers of Modern Physical Training (Association Pres, New York, 1915), page 121. Text provided by John Thorn, 6/12/2007.

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Does the lineage from these two clubs to the Knickerbockers and Gothams (but not Magnolias) stem from common membership rolls?

Can we find additional sources on the two 1832 clubs? Do we have any notion of Wood's possible sources?


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Submitted by John Thorn,
Submission Note Email of 6/12/2007


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