Monday, June 14, 2010

Baseball, not so Much America's Pastime as a Gentleman's Pastime?

Uh-oh, this is going to ruffle some feathers.

A diary from Surrey native, William Bray is getting some attention recently for its references to playing "Base Ball" 1755. This discovery conveniently coincided with the MCC Museum's current exhibition: Swinging Away: How Cricket and Baseball Connect. Looks like the Baseball Hall of Fame might have some displays to update after this! Even non-sport lovers will get a kick out of CNN's article on baseball's 18th century English origins (video below). It now appears we need to delve deeper into baseball's exact origins!


  1. I wish they had talked more about what the original game was like.
    Also, do you have a better copy of the picture at the top
    All of my favorite history blogs are by women. What does this mean?

  2. Canada is having the same issue with hockey. Two Swedish researches found evidence in contemporary diaries indicating that folks in the British Isles and the future U.S. (Philadelphia and New York in particular) were playing a game almost identical to hockey, called hurley, on ice decades before the first documentation of anything like it in Canada.

  3. @Charles, I suppose it just mean you have good taste! I found the image on Andy Farnsworth's blog, The artist could be Robert Dighton

    @Pauline, Oh dear I can see that being a big issue. When I told my brother the baseball news he refused to believe me. Typical American jock.