Baseball’s First Inning: A History of the National Pastime Through the Civil War

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McFarland, Feb 13, 2015 - Sports & Recreation - 269 pages
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This history of America’s pastime describes the evolution of baseball from early bat and ball games to its growth and acceptance in different regions of the country. Such New York clubs as the Atlantics, Excelsiors and Mutuals are a primary focus, serving as examples of how the sport became more sophisticated and popular. The author compares theories about many of baseball’s “inventors,” exploring the often fascinating stories of several of baseball’s oldest founding myths. The impact of the Civil War on the sport is discussed and baseball’s unsteady path to becoming America’s national game is analyzed at length.
 

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Contents

Reliving the Past
7
No Rounders
15
If Not Doubleday What About Cartwright? If Not Cartwright What About Adams? Or Wheaton?
28
What About Rounders? What About Old Cat?
37
The Jolly Old Knickerbockers 18451856
43
The Base Ball Club
53
The Transition Years 18571859
67
Mad Dogs and Englishmen Other Antebellum Sports
83
The Manly Fly Game vs the Boyish Bound Rule and the Fair Pitch vs the Jerk
174
The Eckfords Take the Championship 18621863
185
The Evils of Championship Play 1864
199
The Road to Professionalism
208
Letter from Frank Pidgeon of Eckfords re Professionalism
213
Rules and Regulations of Base Ball as Adopted by the Convention of Base Ball Clubs Held February 25 1857
215
Location of Grounds
218
Extended Box Score Brooklyn Picked Nine vs Philadelphia Picked Nine July 1 1862
221

Why Not Cricket?
101
The Southern Front Sporting Life in Antebellum New Orleans
109
Baseball in Philadelphia
114
The Massachusetts Game
127
Year of the Excelsiors 1860
134
Abner Doubleday Invents the Civil War 1861
151
The Sporting and Not So Sporting Press
163
Records of Top Teams 18571864
223
Knickerbocker Rules September 23 1845
224
Knickerbocker Matches with Other Clubs
226
Chapter Notes
235
Bibliography
253
Index
257
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

William J. Ryczek is a finance professional in Wallingford, Connecticut, who writes about early baseball, football, the Yankees, and the Mets.

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