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Baste, or baste ball, may simply be a variant spelling of base ball. The most famous usage is in a Princeton student’s diary entry for 1786 (5 years before the first known use of "base ball" in the US), which reveals only that the game involves catching and hitting. Note: Princeton was known as the College of New Jersey until 1896.
As of February 2017, Protoball knows of only three uses of the term Baste: the Princeton diary, in an account of President Benjamin Harrison's teen years around 1850, and in Tennessee in 1874. Further examples of other input is welcome.
A superficial Google search for <baste pastime game> in February 2017 throws no further light on ballplaying forms of baste. A somewhat primitive tagging game for children -- Baste the Bear -- in Europe and England is known, but does not appear to be consistent with US finds reported to Protoball.
See Protoball Chronology entry 1786.1. A second entry, 1848c.9, includes baste ball in a list of boyhood games played by future US President Benjamin Harrison. A third entry, 1874.2, reports its use in Chattanooga TN.
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