Sunday, September 21, 2008

A bit of baseball history

If you are a history buff, if you are fascinated by the way something that happened hundreds of years ago still affects us today, then you probably are a baseball fan.

Many may have missed this little tidbit in this week's SI:
Found In Surrey, England, a reference to baseball in a diary entry dated March 31, 1755 - the earliest known reference to the sport. Previously the earliest known mention of baseball was a law banning the game in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1791. But last week, a Surrey historian said he had authenticated a diary in which lawyer William Bray [any relation to our own Bill?] mentioned the sport 36 years earlier: "After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale's to play at Base Ball...Drank Tea and stayed till 8." Bray, who died in 1832, never again mentioned the game in his writings.
Interesting, not only because it was found in England, but also because it was written in a world in which America did not exist as an independent entity.

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