(Roughly) Daily

Beware those unsightly…

source: Buzzfeed

As we reconsider our SPF choices, we might recall that it was on this date in 1846 that the first officially-recorded, organized baseball match  using “modern” rules was played,  on Hoboken, NJ’s Elysian Fields.   Alexander Joy Cartwright had founded the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club (after the Knickerbocker Fire Engine Company) in 1842. to play a variety of stick-and-ball game called “the town game.”  In 1845, Cartwright and a committee from his club drew up “by-laws,” rules converting this playground game into a more elaborate and interesting sport that he and other firemen played on a field at 47th Avenue and 27th Streets.  The rules of the modern game– including the diagram of a diamond-shaped field– are based on those by-laws.

The Elysian Fields match was the first competitive– as opposed to intramural– baseball game.  It was umpired by Cartwright and played by his rules; nonetheless, his Knickerbockers lost to The New York Nine 23-1.

Readers will recall that Abner Doubleday is often cited as the originator of America’s Pastime (c.f., the almanac entry here).  But Cartwright got his due when, on June 3, 1953, the U.S. Congress officially declared him the inventor of the modern game of baseball.

Cartwright

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