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Thread: Origins of Baseball

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    Origins of Baseball

    This should be a hot topic. Not. But I am into it, so I am looking for fellow enthusiasts.

    Having exhausted the Nazis, I am up for some lighter fare.

    So Doubleday, Chadwick, Knickerbockers, soaking runners, soft balls, it's all fascinating and relevant because today's political talking points and "facts" are blown up by historians of the future. This subject is all about documents and sources.

    Lizzie_Murphy.jpg
    Last edited by kmiller1610; 25th January 2016 at 03:07 AM.

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    covfefe knight's Avatar
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    Looks like this thread is a swing and a miss.
    Thanks from kmiller1610 and BigLeRoy

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    Well most people don't care about the history of a dying sport. Totally expected. But for baseball lovers who like origin stories, it's a fun journey. Just a few facts.

    1) Early forms of the game required fielders to throw the ball at runners to get them out. This was called soaking.

    2) Before baseball got fully organized blacks played on white teams.

    3) Catching a ground ball off its first bounce used to be an out.

    4) Old pictures of baseball playing fields show a strip of dirt from the pitchers mound to home plate. This a leftover from earlier forms of the game when there was a wicket behind home plate and pitching was far less important. Throwing the ball to the batter often included bouncing the ball on the dirt.

    Last edited by kmiller1610; 3rd February 2016 at 10:01 AM.

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    Veteran Member Dr Sampson Simpson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmiller1610 View Post
    Well most people don't care about the history of a dying sport. Totally expected. But for baseball lovers who like origin stories, it's a fun journey. Just a few facts.

    1) Early forms of the game required fielders to throw the ball at runners to get them out. This was called soaking.

    2) Before baseball got fully organized blacks played on white teams.

    3) Catching a ground ball off its first bounce used to be an out.

    4) Old pictures of baseball playing fields show a strip of dirt from the pitchers mound to homer plate. This a leftover from earlier forms of the game when there was a wicket behind home plate and pitching was far less important. Throwing the ball to the batter often included bouncing the ball on the dirt.

    Have you watched Ken Burns Baseball?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Sampson Simpson View Post
    Have you watched Ken Burns Baseball?
    I bought episode one over a year ago and have gotten access to the whole series through my Amazon prime account (streaming). Based on episode one, I asked for books for Xmas on the subject of ancient baseball. This is the one I am currently reading. The author is both quoted and featured in Burns documentary.

    Robot Check

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    I recall reading somewhere that until the late 1800s, it was legitimate to tag a runner out by striking the runner with a thrown ball.

    Baseball is WAY out of my field of expertise, so unless someone can confirm it, take it with a grain of salt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Djinn View Post
    I recall reading somewhere that until the late 1800s, it was legitimate to tag a runner out by striking the runner with a thrown ball.

    Baseball is WAY out of my field of expertise, so unless someone can confirm it, take it with a grain of salt.
    Called soaking. Yes, especially in the early to mid 1800s. The balls were softer, so it wasn't as bad as it sounds. Early baseball, 1840 - 1860, had lots of anomalies and variations. Until the civil war, cricket was actually quite popular. The civil war popularized and nationalized the game. Soldiers shared the game and brought it home after the war.

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    The Un-Holy One The Man's Avatar
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    Some say it was invented by Russian immigrants in America, based on the Russian game Lapta: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapta_(game)

    Thanks from kmiller1610 and cable2

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    Children have been playing bat ball for as long as there have been children. Russians included.
    Thanks from The Man

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    Here's a picture of a ticket for the Magnolia ball event (1844). If you look carefully, you'll see posts rather than bases. One form of early ball was called Cat. One Cat was three players with one post (batter, hitter, fielder). Two Cat allowed for 2 posts and six players and so forth. Four Cat or Rounders (an English name) were early variants.

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    Last edited by kmiller1610; 3rd February 2016 at 10:13 AM.
    Thanks from The Man and boontito

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