Predecessor Game in Santa Barbara in April 1847

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Awaiting Review
Date of Game April 1847
Game Predecessor Game
Location Santa Barbara, CA, United States

From Protoball Entry #1847.7 – Occupation Army Takes Ballgame to Natives In . . . Santa Barbara?

The New York Volunteer Regiment reached California in April 1847 after the end of the Mexican War, and helped to occupy the province. They laid out a diamond (where State and Cota Streets now meet), made a ball from gutta percha, and used a mesquite stick as a bat. Partly because batted balls found their way into the windowless nearby adobes, there were some problems. “Largely because of the baseball games, the Spanish-speaking people of Santa Barbara came to look upon the New Yorkers as loudmouthed, uncouth hoodlums. . . . the hostilities between Californians and Americanos continued to fester for generations.”

Walter A. Tompkins, “Baseball Began Here in 1847,” It Happened in Old Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara National Bank, undated), pages 77-78.

OPEN ISSUE: California researcher Angus McFarland has not been able to verify this account as of November 2008. Tompkins' original source is not known to us. We have no strong reason to infer that this game was played by Knickerbocker rules.

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