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Posts Tagged ‘Abner Doubleday

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

And a side of Bacon…

From the Spring, 2010 issue of Lapham’s Quarterly (“Arts and Letters”), “Friends, Lovers, and Family,” a plot of the “degrees of separation” among the creatives who have, among them, done so much to define the canon of English arts and letters…

An excerpt from the chart:

See the whole thing here…  and rest assured that it does, finally, resolve to Kevin Bacon.

As we revisit our Facebook friends lists, we might recall that it was on this date in 1939 that the Baseball Hall of Fame was dedicated and opened in Cooperstown, NY.

Stephen C. Clark, a local hotel owner, was the champion of the effort to build the Hall in Cooperstown.  He was anxious to boost the local economy, which was suffering economically, as the Great Depression had significantly reduced the local tourist trade, and Prohibition had devastated the local hops industry. He played heavily on the erroneous assertion that U.S. Civil War hero Abner Doubleday had invented baseball in Cooperstown, a claim made by former National League president Abraham G. Mills and his 1905 Mills Commission.  His grand-daughter, Jane Forbes Clark, currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame.

(Readers should note that Cooperstown is by no means a one trick pony:  it is also home to The Farmers’ Museum, The Fenimore Art Museum, Glimmerglass Opera, and the New York State Historical Association.)

Plaques honoring Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson and Walter Johnson, the first class of Inductees (named before the Hall itself was complete)

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