|07-08-2001, 06:38 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NetShrine WHQ
Baseball Emerged Not Invented
Newspaper articles show baseball was played early in 19th century
.c The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - The quest to nail down the origins of baseball has been thrown a curve, with the discovery of two newspaper articles showing the game was played earlier than historians thought.
The articles appeared April 25, 1823, and show that an organized form of the game called ``base ball'' was being played in Manhattan, in what is today Greenwich Village, The New York Times reported Sunday.
The articles were discovered by George Thompson Jr., a librarian at New York University. Historians have long wrestled with the task of discovering the true origins of the game.
Abner Doubleday, a West Point cadet, is largely credited with inventing the game in 1839 on a dirt field in Cooperstown, N.Y., now the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Historians recently have credited Alexander Cartwright, a New York bank clerk, and the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club with inventing many of the rules and using them for the first time in a game played at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, N.J., in 1846.
The longer of the two articles discovered by Thompson appeared in The National Advocate, one of about eight daily newspapers in New York in 1823, the Times said.
``I was last Saturday much pleased in witnessing a company of active young men playing the manly and athletic game of 'base ball' at the Retreat in Broadway (Jones'). I am informed they are an organized association, and that a very interesting game will be played on Saturday next at the above place, to commence at half past 3 o'clock, P.M. Any person fond of witnessing this game may avail himself of seeing it played with consummate skill and wonderful dexterity,'' the article said.
The second article was published the same day in The New-York Gazette and General Advertiser.
John Thorn, a baseball historian, said the findings support the theory that baseball emerged gradually, rather than by invention.
``It really is an uninterrupted lineage,'' Thorn told the Times.
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