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Report: "Groups of Full Grown Players At Base and Cricket" Recalled in New York

Salience Prominent
Tags Newspaper Coverage, Pre-Knicks NYC
City/State/Country: Manhattan, NY, United States
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult
"The denizens of a large city have not the same opportunities of healthful exercise as are enjoyed by those who dwell in the country. A few years ago New York was, to some extent, an exception to this remark. Large open grounds, in different parts of the city, invited the inhabitants to athletick exercises, and groups of full grown players at base and cricket were to be seen on them every pleasant afternoon. Those open grounds are now compactly built up with lordly houses, and ballclubs, we believe, are extinct. But the means of agreeable and salutary exercise are still within the reach of 
the dusty city, and the pale student and clerk. Fuller's Gymnasium supplies them, and at a cost much less than that which it saves from the physician and the apothecary. His establishment is conducted under his own superintendence,and is well conducted in every respect.”

The Plaindealer, New York, April 15, 1837.


David Block, 5/3/2021, on the idea that ballplaying clubs were though to be extinct in 1837:  "Not quite extinct."

Tom Gilbert, 5/4/2021: "We knew -- largely indirectly -- that there were adult bb clubs and a thriving bb scene in NYC in the 1830s and probably earlier, but it is great to see confirmation, and by a contemporary source. This also underlines the importance of Stevens's Elysian Fields in helping to preserve the incipient sport from being snuffed out by rapid urban development, in a sort of incubator.

(And the connection between the gymnastics movement and the baseball movement is closer than might appear. We can identify Knickerbocker bbc club members, Excelsiors and others who exercised at NYC and Brooklyn gyms, including I believe Fuller's)."


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Should our dating at circa 1835 be modified?

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Submitted by David Block
Submission Note 19CBB Posting, 5/3/2021


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