Friday, September 12, 2008

Earliest reference to baseball found in England

Say it ain't so Joe !

Bray wrote that he played the game with both men and women on the day after Easter, a traditional holiday in England. "He was about 18 or 19 (at the time of the diary entry)," Pooley said. "He was a very social man. He enjoyed sports."

The entry reads:

"Easter Monday 31 March 1755 "Went to Stoke Ch. This morning. After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale's to play at Base Ball with her, the 3 Miss Whiteheads, Miss Billinghurst, Miss Molly Flutter, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Ford & H. Parsons & Jelly. Drank Tea and stayed till 8." Baseball has long been thought to have been an American invention, with roots in the British games of rounders and cricket.

1 comment:

David Laughlin said...

This is interesting but not convincing. I think the Brits may at times have called cricket by the term base ball. The entries in the OED under baseball (which by the way only start at 1815 so they will now have to be revised) read like they are speaking about cricket
c1815 JANE AUSTEN Northang. Abb. i. (1848) 3 It was not very wonderful that Catherine..should prefer cricket, base books

The next entry is Emerson's quote
"1870 EMERSON Soc. & Solit. x. 209 Amiable boys, who had never encountered any rougher play than a base-ball match"