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per Brewster . “Basemen” stand at each corner of a bounded field of play, and try to plug other players inside the bounds. Each player has three “eyes” [lives]. A player loses an “eye” if plugged or if a target player catches a ball thrown at him. There is no batting or baserunning in this game.
Paul G. Brewster, American Nonsinging Games (U Oklahoma Press, Norman OK, 1953), page 82-83.
See Chronology for 1863 mention of Confederate soldiers playing "bull pen" near Kinston, NC.
See the Lexington (MS) Union, Oct. 12, 1839, which compares the Whig Party rejecting candidates to boys playing bull pen.Edit with form to add a comment
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