Historians in Surrey have documentary proof that the game was being played in the UK before America.
A diary entry which talks about a game played in Guildford, Surrey in 1755 has been verified as authentic by the Surrey History Centre.
The handwritten entry was discovered in the diary of lawyer William Bray and documents a game with friends on Easter Monday of that year when he was still a teenager. It reads: \”Went to Stoke church this morn.- 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 and H. Parsons. Drank tea and stayed til 8.\”
Surrey County Council have written to Major League Baseball, the governing body of the sport in the US, to inform them of the find.
They say the MLB has accepted that the diary, found in a shed near Guildford by local historian Tricia St John Barry, contains the earliest known manuscript reference to baseball in the world.
Of course then the English grew up and started playing the adult game of cricket….