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Glossary of Games
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Game Bat-and-Ball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Regions US
Eras Predecessor, Pre-1700, 1700s, 1800s
Invented No

"Bat-and-Ball" is a term that can help you find very early references to predecessor games in the US.

Brian Turner finds that the term is likely to connote a distinct form of early ballplaying; in an April 2020 email to Protoball, he said "I can confirm that Newburyport and other coastal towns north of Boston -- Salem, for example -- were places where the term "bat and ball" was used to refer to an unambiguously distinct game." 

A May search of the Protoball Chronology for <bad and ball> yields 44 hits from circa 1745 to 1845.  A subset of them may be specifically denote a game locally known as Bat and Ball.

The earliest seems to be in US President John Adams, in a reflection on his ballplaying youth.




Brian Turner, "Bat and Ball: A Distinct Game or a Generic Term?", Base Ball Journal (Special Issue on Origins), Volume 5, number 1 (Spring 2011), pages 37-40.


We are in 2020 conferring with Brian to try to characterize the rules of play in these references, to the extent that they are mentioned in these items.

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