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Chadwick Agrees: The Parent of Base Ball is Two-Old-Cat . . . Not English Rounders, After All?

Salience Noteworthy
Location Greater New York City
City/State/Country: New York, NY, United States
Game Base Ball, Two-Old-Cat, Cricket
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Juvenile, Youth, Adult
Notables Henry Chadwick

"We do not believe that cricket will ever be naturalized here, but that its rival is destined for evermore to be the national game. To those who would object to our explanation that it is fanciful, we can only say that we believe it violates none of the known laws of reasoning, and that it certainly answers the great end of accounting for the facts. To those other objectors, who would contend that our explanation supposes a gradual modification of the English into the American game, while it is a matter of common learning that the latter is of no foreign origin, but the lineal descent of that favorite of boyhood, 'Two-Old-Cat,' we would say that, fully agreeing with them as to the historical fact, we have always believed it to be so clear as not to need further evidence, and that for the purposes of this article the history of the matter is out of place. We have throughout spoken of cricket as changing' into base ball, not because we suppose these words represent the actual origin of the latter, but to bring more vividly before the mind the differences between the two. He would indeed be an unfaithful chronicler who should attempt to question the hoary antiquity of Two-Old-Cat, or the parental relation in which it stands to base ball."


Henry Chadwick, 1871 Base Ball Manual



Bill Hicklin, 3/9/2016:

"It's one of the commonplaces of the old origins debate that led to the Mills Commission that Henry Chadwick was foremost among those arguing that baseball evolved directly from rounders, and indeed he said so many times.  In opposition stood those patriotic Americans such as Ward who claimed an indigenous heritage from the Old Cat games."

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David Block, et al: Could Chadwick have believed that Two-Old-Cat was also the parent of British Rounders? The term was known over there before rounders was, no?

Page and pub site of the 1871 Manual?


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Submitted by Bill Hicklin
Submission Note Email of 3/9/2016


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