Early baseball in Massachusetts/Predecessor Game 31

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Location Massachusetts
Year 1829
State MA
Country US
Name of game Round Ball, 4 O'Cat

From a letter to the Mills Commission: "Mr. Lawrence considers Round Ball and Four Old Cat one and the same game; the Old Cat game merely being the they could do when there were not more than a dozen players, all told. . . . Mr. Lawrence says, as a boy, he played Round Ball in 1829. So far as Mr. Lawrence's argument goes for Round Ball being the father of Base Ball it is all well enough, but there are two things that cannot be accounted for; the conception of the foul ball, and the abolishment of the rules that a player could be put out by being hit by a thrown ball. No one remembers the case of a player being injured by being hit by a thrown ball, so that cannot be the reason for that change. The foul rule made the greatest skill of the Massachusetts game count for nothing – the batting skill – the back handed and slide batting. Mr. Stoddard told me that there were 9 of the 14 Upton batters who never batted ahead."

Henry Sargent Letter to the Mills Commission, June 25, 1905.

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