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Mr. Babcock Shows Base Ball to San Franciscans

Salience Noteworthy
Location California
City/State/Country: San Francisco, CA, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

"Allow me to correct an error which appeared in your last issue in relation to the first game of base ball played in California. The game was introduced by Mr. William Babcock of the Atlantic Base Ball Club, of Brooklyn, and was played . . . on the grounds opposite South Park, in the city of San Francisco [CA] on the 10th day of Nov., 1858." A box score is included. It shows W. V. Babcock as batting leadoff, pitching, scoring 3 runs, and also, "[o]wing to the scarcity of parties understanding the game, Mr. Babcock acted as umpire."




"Correspondence. Base Ball in California," Sunday Mercury, January 6, 1861, page 8. 

"Not Like They Used to Play: A Veteran of the Diamond Tells of the Early Days," August 8, 1892. (Interview with W. Babcock.)  Received from John Thorn, 12/16/12. 


SF early baseball specialist Angus Macfarlane points out that this game was not carried in any SF newspaper still extant, despite the fact that many were lauding the game just a few months later (email of 12/15/12). Another report (also lacking a local reference) of the foundation of a club, the San Francisco BBC, appeared in the Spirit of the Times on 3/27/1858. Images exist of a "Boston BBC of San Francisco" organized in 1857, but no further references are known. 


Wm Babcock had played with the Gotham Club in the early 1850's, founded and pitched for the Atlantic Club in 1855, and caught "Western Fever" in about 1858 and went to SF.

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Submitted by Robert Tholkes
Submission Note 2/7/2010. Comment by John Thorn 12/16/2012


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