Property:Block Notes

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"
<p>Elsewhere in the book, on page 213, the author comments that the game of "bat and ball" is an appropriate sport for little boys and girls.</p>  +
<p>The book has a publication date of 1755, but a newspaper account indicates it was already in production by Christmas, 1754. It was reviewed in a literary journal in February, 1755. All this is to say that it predated the baseball entry in the Bray diary by a few months. Given the highly satirical nature of The Card, it is hard to know whether to take Kidgell's characterization of baseball literally.</p>  +
<p>No known copies of the 1744 edition have survived. The earliest known copy is a 1760 10th edition in the British Library; it is assumed, but not certain, that the base-ball page originated with the 1744 edition. The MCC Cricket Museum in London owns a children's handkerchief printed with images from A Little Pretty Pocket-book. It includes the base-ball poem and image, but the latter is a redrawn copy of the one that appears in the book. The handkerchief is undated but appears to date from the 18th century. John Newbery was born and raised in the small Berkshire village of Waltham St. Lawrence.</p>  +
<p>Jane Haldimand Marcet was a groundbreaking author who wrote a series of highly popular physics, chemistry, and economics text books aimed at female students that were up-to-date and on the mark with their subject matter, yet also easy to read.</p>  +
<p>The original of this letter cannot be located and may no longer exist. The copy in the Suffolk archive appears to date to the 18th century but whether it was taken at the same time as the original cannot be determined. It is not in Lady Hervey's hand. Frederick's son George, age 10, (the future George III) was almost certainly among the ball players. Although Lady Hervey observed the prince's family playing baseball at Leicester House in London, they spent most of the year at Cliveden, their estate on the Thames at Taplow in Bucks.</p>  +
<p>The first edition of this book appeared in April, 1796 and the second edition appeared in October of the same year. Gutsmuths' source for the information about English baseball is not certain, although one very likely candidate is an English student, Samuel Glover, who was a student of his in Schnepfenthal between 1788 and 1791. A surviving letter from Gutsmuths to a friend of Glover's documents that the English student was a favorite of his and had a close relationship to the author's family. It may be that the game described by Gutsmuths was incipient rounders rather than English baseball in its pure form, as the latter is not known to have been played with a bat. Glover came from the west of England where rounders first appeared.</p>  +
B
<p>It is not quite clear whether use of the word “ball-bias” was intentional or whether the writer or editor confused it with baseball. This very same newspaper article was reprinted 30 years later, on Jan. 8, 1887, in the Hastings and St. Leonards Observer, and the reprinted article is identical in all respects to the 1856 original excepting that the word "ball-bias" was changed to "base-ball." So which was correct?</p>  +
<p>The novel presents the girl, Rebecca, very positively, suggesting she is the smartest and best looking student in the school.</p>  +
<p>The inferences we must take from this are that ball-bias was played with a bat, and that the author was referring to American baseball. The inclusion of hockey makes little sense since it is not a safe haven game like the others.</p>  +
E
<p>English baseball in Scotland; or, perhaps, Scottish baseball?</p>  +
<p>Keith is a small town in northeastern Scotland that was located in the former historic county of Banffshire, but since 1975 has been part of the Moray council area. The baseball played on this occasion was likely some form of English baseball, given the nature of the event and the youth of the players.</p>  +
<p>Seems likely to be English baseball since it was played by “those who were not able to wield the racquet.”</p>  +
<p>It's not clear to me whether “sports in which both sexes could take part” included baseball, or whether the ladies played it without men. This is late for English baseball but it seems more likely than American style, given the context.</p>  +
<p>American baseball is a possibility, although there is no previous evidence it being played at this type of social event in this era.</p>  +
<p>It is quite startling that an ad for baseballs would appear in an 1866 English newspaper. It is improbable that these baseballs would have been for the American version of the game, as the earliest known appearance anywhere in Britain of that form was in northern Scotland in 1870. it is more likely these balls were for English-style baseball, but even that is surprising since there is no evidence the English game was ever organized or used standardized or commercially manufactured equipment.</p>  +
<p>“Cocoa nuts” involved throwing stones or other objects at cocoanuts on sticks, a game similar to Aunt Sally. “Bran pie” was a game involving tubs full of bran in which simple presents or sweets were hidden.</p>  +
<p>Given the early date and the location, it was almost certainly English baseball that the jokester had in mind.</p>  +
<p>It is not clear how the “Base-ball Pit” got its name.</p>  +
<p>Apparently this letter was very persuasive, because the suggested fete was organized and held within a month's time (see entry below).</p>  +