Clipping:History of baseball; the antiquity of the game

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Date Sunday, June 27, 1858

It is now only some thirteen years since the first attempt at organizing the game of base-ball was made.  The honor of being the pioneers in this movement, is due to the celebrated Knickerbocker Club, of this city, which was organized in the year 1845.  The first club which followed the good example set them, was the Washington, but the latter became divided in itself, on the formation of the Gotham Club, in 1852, and the majority of the members of the Washington joined the latter club.  The Eagle was the next organized, but we forget the year in which it was first established.  For some years these were the only clubs representing the game of base-ball, and the rules and regulations which they adopted, were regarded as the recognized authority by all other clubs established up to the year 1857.  Among those new clubs, were the Empire, established in 1854, and the Baltic, Putnam, and many others, in 1855.  The formation of so many clubs gave a vigorous impetus to the game, and in 1856, a very large number of matches were played between the various clubs which had sprung into existence.  The necessity of enlarging and revisiting the rules of the game now became obvious, to meet the requirements which fresh circumstances called into operation.   In consequence, a Convention of delegates from the various New York clubs was held in this city in May, 1857 [actually January to March]; and a second Convention, to more effectually accomplish the desired objects, was again held in the month of March, 1858.  At the former Convention, sixteen clubs were represented, and at the latter no less than twenty-five; thus showing the progress and extension of the game among Young America.  The last Convention, after assuming the title of “The National Association of Base Ball Players,” and defining their objects to be “the improvement, fostering and perpetuation of the American game of base-ball, and the cultivation of kindly feelings among the different members of the base-ball clubs,” agreed finally upon the settlement of a code of rules and regulations of the game, binding upon all clubs represented at the Convention, and now generally adopted by all base-ball clubs.

~ ~ ~

Peterboro, thirty—even fifty—years ago, was celebrated for its Base Ball playing, and wonderful stories are recounted in which the names of Rice and Wilburs, and others, shine with an enduring fame!  Yet we think the Peterboro of to-day will eclipse the splendor of that behind-the-age celebrity.

The exercise games are now governed by the Rules and Regulations adopted at the Convention of Base Ball Clubs held at the city of New York, March 10th, 1858  Oneida Sachem [date?]

Source New York Atlas
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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