Historum - History Forums  

Go Back   Historum - History Forums > Themes in History > Art and Cultural History
Register Forums Blogs Social Groups Mark Forums Read

Art and Cultural History Art and Cultural History Forum - Music, Literature, Mythology, Visual Arts, Sports, Popular Culture


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old September 6th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #1

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yea...I win!!
Posts: 12,169
BASEBALL - The Early Years


In the early 1830’s baseball was popular enough to warrant the publishing of a rule book. Robin Carver’s Book of Sports (1834) included rules to the game. Carver’s book also included a wood engraving showing the game played on Boston common. The same block was used to illustrate several publications over the next few years, including the first and second editions of The Boys Book of Sports. This illustration is said to be the first to depict the game of baseball.
Questions:
Is the pitcher about to throw underhand? Looks more like a rock than a ball.
Why no gloves? Was the artist making it up?
Maybe Historum has a Baseball historian that can answer these perplexing questions.

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Pedro; September 6th, 2008 at 02:19 PM.
Pedro is offline  
Remove Ads
Old September 6th, 2008, 02:44 PM   #2

avon's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 13,761
Blog Entries: 2
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


This woodcut is from 1744 and, whilst supposedly depicting 'stoolball' is the first known publication to carry the word 'base-ball'. The reason for reproducing it here is that the thrower (pitcher?) appears to be ready to throw the ball under-arm.

Click the image to open in full size.


As for the ball, it would seem that many of the precursors of baseball involve hitting the runner with the ball as opposed to hitting the base. One would imagine that the ball would be reasonably soft!
avon is offline  
Old September 6th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #3

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yea...I win!!
Posts: 12,169
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


That's a great find. I remember reading something about throwing the runner out by knocking him out. lol. Hopefully these arcane questions will be answered in the two books I ordered today. i.e. Low and Inside and Three Men on Third. Both by H. Allen Smith, a humor writer popular during the 40s and 50s. Both books contain anecdotes about the early years of baseball. I read the first one decades ago, was glad to find it on Amazon. Now if it will only get through customs without being stolen.
Pedro is offline  
Old October 22nd, 2008, 04:40 PM   #4

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yea...I win!!
Posts: 12,169
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


As Avon showed us the word baseball was first recorded in 1744 in England to which I have since found out was also called 'rounders'. It referred to a game in which a batter hit a soft ball and had to circle round two bases to score runs without being put out by being hit with the ball. Similar to today's cricket. Batting a ball, or any spherical object, with a stick had undoubtedly been going on since Eve wracked an apple. We know the game had crossed the Atlantic early, for a game called base was played by soldiers at Valley Forge (1778). In the next century it was known by various names, stick ball, goal ball, and barn ball. By 1920 in New England, they were using four bases instead of two base posts, and running around the four bases which counted as one run. It was at this time the game was divided into two teams. This was played on village greens and called town ball or the Massachusetts game. In the late 1830s, the rules changed a bit when someone suggested the runner could be put out by throwing the ball to the base ahead of him or by touching him with the ball instead of throwing it at him. Now a harder ball could be used, which could be thrown faster and hit farther. This meant the game now needed men in the outfield to catch the ball and players in the infield to guard the bases. The first standard rules were published in 1845 and from there the modern game that we know continued to grow and be refined. All of which is perfectly logical, except for that stuff about 'designated hitter.' I reckon even something as perfect as baseball has to have one flaw.
Pedro is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 09:21 AM   #5

Bucephalus's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,176
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
All of which is perfectly logical, except for that stuff about 'designated hitter.' I reckon even something as perfect as baseball has to have one flaw.
If only it was just the designated hitter rule... 1845 was a long time before the Players' Union, free agency, steroids, and George Steinbrenner... Blech.
Bucephalus is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 09:30 AM   #6

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yea...I win!!
Posts: 12,169
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucephalus View Post
If only it was just the designated hitter rule... 1845 was a long time before the Players' Union, free agency, steroids, and George Steinbrenner... Blech.
Loving the game with a passion and having a classical turn of mind (read old fashioned) I can't accept that the above mentioned travesties even exist.
Pedro is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:18 AM   #7

Bucephalus's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,176
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
Loving the game with a passion and having a classical turn of mind (read old fashioned) I can't accept that the above mentioned travesties even exist.
For me, baseball hasn't been the same since Fay Vincent's ouster in 1992 and the 1994 strike.

I envy your state of blissful denial...
Bucephalus is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 10:37 AM   #8
Suspended indefinitely
 
Joined: Jul 2006
From: UK
Posts: 6,114
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
In the early 1830ís baseball was popular enough to warrant the publishing of a rule book. Robin Carverís Book of Sports (1834) included rules to the game. Carverís book also included a wood engraving showing the game played on Boston common. The same block was used to illustrate several publications over the next few years, including the first and second editions of The Boys Book of Sports. This illustration is said to be the first to depict the game of baseball.
Questions:
Is the pitcher about to throw underhand? Looks more like a rock than a ball.
Why no gloves? Was the artist making it up?
Maybe Historum has a Baseball historian that can answer these perplexing questions.

Click the image to open in full size.
I think it's because in the past baseballs weren't as hard as they are today. They were stuffed with old rags so would do less damage.
Nick is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:17 PM   #9

Pedro's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: On a mountain top in Costa Rica. yea...I win!!
Posts: 12,169
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucephalus View Post
For me, baseball hasn't been the same since Fay Vincent's ouster in 1992 and the 1994 strike.

I envy your state of blissful denial...
Good God!! that is MODERN history. I hark back to the days when you could have three men on third. Any one know that story. Ask me, please. I am dying to tell it.

"blissful denial" the modern term for senility. cool.
Pedro is offline  
Old October 23rd, 2008, 01:46 PM   #10

Bucephalus's Avatar
Historian
 
Joined: Mar 2008
From: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,176
Re: BASEBALL - The Early Years


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
Good God!! that is MODERN history. I hark back to the days when you could have three men on third. Any one know that story. Ask me, please. I am dying to tell it.

"blissful denial" the modern term for senility. cool.
OK, I'll bite. Please tell the story of "Three Men on Third".

As far as the history of Baseball is concerned, as a kid I remember watching Cal Ripken play at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore (now demolished, of course). Almost everything about baseball since then has been a bit disappointing, really. Speaking of not-quite-so-modern baseball history, did you get the chance to watch the movie "61*" about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle (released in 2001)? I thought it was quite well done.
Bucephalus is offline  
Reply

  Historum > Themes in History > Art and Cultural History

Tags
baseball, early


Thread Tools
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who is the best baseball player in history? MafiaMaster Art and Cultural History 75 April 9th, 2014 04:29 PM

Copyright © 2006-2013 Historum. All rights reserved.