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Eventual National League Prexy Sticks with Cricket in War Camp

Salience Peripheral
Tags Civil War, Famous
Location US
City/State/Country: United States
Game Cricket, Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult
Notables Nicholas Young

“[W]hile I played barn ball, one old cat and two old cat in early boyhood days, Cricket was my favorite game, and up to the time I enlisted in the army I never played a regular game of base ball or the New York game as it was then called. In my regiment we had eleven cricketers that had all played together at home and I was the leading spirit in getting up matches. We played a number of good matches but we were too strong for any combination that we could get to play against us, and we finally had to abandon cricket and + take up this so called New York game. I remember well the first game that I played. It was against the 27th NY Inf. at White Oak Church near Fredericksburg Va. In the Spring of 1863. I played occasionally during the remainder of the war, but after my discharge in 1865 I came to Washington and joined the American Cricket Club of this city. But I soon turned my attention to base ball + played with the Olympic Club of this city from 1866 to 1870.”

Nicholas Young was born in Amsterdam NY in 1840, and thus was playing the named games in the 1850s. He was a member of the 32nd NY Infantry, which was at Falmouth VA in spring 1863. He led the NL from 1881 to 1903.





Nicholas E. Young, letter to Spalding, December 2, 1904. Accessed at the Giamatti Center of the Baseball; Hall of Fame, 6/26/09, in the “Origins file. 

Summarized in George Kirsch, Baseball in Blue and Gray (Princeton U, 2003), page 37. 

Zoss and Bowman’s Diamonds in the Rough says that the 32nd had a cricket team and that Young played on it [p. 81]. 


From online sources we do learn that Young was born in Amsterdam NY, was picked for an all-upstate NY cricket team to play an all-NYC team in 1858, and that he joined the 32nd NY Regiment. The history of 27th NY Regiment, which sprang from the general area of Binghamton, does not mention ballplaying. 

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