Clipping:A disagreement over the rules to use

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Date Monday, October 5, 1857
Text

October 5, 1857

A CHALLENGE!  The members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, hereby challenge the members of the Union Club, of Medway, to a Match Game of base Ball, to take place on Boston Common, on Saturday, Oct. 17, or on any other day they appoint during the present month.  The game to be the best three in five, of 25 tallies each.  The rules to be the same as governed the late match between the two clubs.  Per order of Massapoag Base Ball Club, DANIEL MAHONY, Sec'y, Sharon, Oct. 5, 1867

~ ~ ~

October 9, 1857

Challenge Accepted.  The Members of the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway, hereby accept the Challenge of the members of the Massapoag Base Ball Club, of Sharon, to a Match Game of Base Ball, on Boston Common—Time, Saturday, Oct. 31, 9 o'clock A.M.  They, however, claim the customary right of choice of regulations, which they would exercise in regard to Bases as follows, viz:

The number of Bases to be five, instead of four;  the fifth or home base being the batters' stand, which shall be 40 feet (instead of 12 feet) from the first base;  the distance from the fourth to the fourth to the fifth base to be also 40 feet—thus restoring the game to its full and original condition.  Per order of the Union Base Ball Club, DANIEL HAMMOND, Sec'y.  Medway, Oct. 8, 1857. 

~ ~ ~

October 19, 1857

To the Union Base Ball Club, of Medway.  A few weeks since we received a Challenge from you to play of Game of Base Ball, the best three in five–”with {to quote your own language} the same rules and regulations to govern the game which governed your {our} recent game with the Olympic Club, of Boston, when you {we} won the championship.”  Claiming no right, as the challenged party, to alter the game, because you challenged us to play a certain game, with specified rules, we promptly accepted your challenge, knowing no alternative but to do so or decline.  The game was played, and you won the best three in five.  We recently challenged you to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations that governed the game that you won—You answer that you accept the challenge;  and you then claim the right, as the challenged party, to prescribe the rules and regulations to govern the game, adding tht the rules which you propose “will restore the game to its original conditions.”*  

We do not consider your answer to the challenge an acceptance of our challenge.  We believe that according to common usage, if challenged by the losing party, the winning party is in honor bound to play a return game, with the same rules and regulations, to take the alternative, and back square down.

In view of the course which you have seen fit to pursue, self respect imposes upon us the necessity of withdrawing the challenge.

*We are a little curious to learn your authority for the above statement.

Per order of the Massagoag Base Ball Club.  DANIEL MAHONY, Secretary.  Sharon, October 14, 1857

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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