The Origins of Baseball

Tee hee.

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….

8 thoughts on “The Origins of Baseball”

  1. There’s several references to games across Europe being called base ball. This is nothing new, most people accept it. Of course, the game would have been substantially different in many ways to what is now played, but so was baseball in the US in the mid-19th century.

    Another interesting fact is that cricket was actually very popular in the US until the civil war, when baseball gained a hold, possibly because it doesn’t need carefully prepared pitches to play, just four bases and a marker for the pitcher to stand at.

  2. In fact, the first international game of cricket was between Canada and the USA in 1844. A while later, the first international tour was England’s trip to the USA.

  3. Girls play baseball ,and cricket, in Jane Austen: the reference is in Northanger Abbey, I think,which would make it late 179o’s. For all the macho fuss Americans make about baseball, it is ironic that it started out as a game for Jane Austen heroines.

  4. Mr Mills is partially correct when he says that cricket was very popular in the antebellum US. Indeed the real reason the southern states seceeded from the Union was a controversial decision by the Federal cricket authorities to rewrite the lbw rule over the objections of the local state cricket boards.

    After three and a half years of bloodshed, the US government decided that cricket was far too complex and emotive for the young nation to handle and huge efforts were made to expunge the game from the national consciousness.

  5. And the cause English Civil war was over the use of protective head gear. The Royalists were in favour of traditional floppy hats and caps while the Roundheads supported the use of helmets.
    To this day Cricketers while batting still where helmets made fashionable by the Roundheads.

  6. Pingback:   Business,Sports,Uncategorized | Baseball Can No Longer Be Our Pastime — Recycle Email

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