Early baseball in Massachusetts/Predecessor Game 34

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Location Massachusetts
Year 1830
City Cambridge
State MA
Country US
Name of game Play ball, baseball (retro)

You may think of Thomas Wentworth Higginson [b. 1823] as a noted abolitionist, or as the mentor of Emily Dickenson, but he was also a ballplayer and sporting advocate [see also #1858.17]. Higginson's autobiography includes several glimpses of MA ballplaying:

– at ten he knew many Harvard students – "their nicknames, their games, their individual haunts, – we watched them at football and cricket [page 40]"

– at his Cambridge school "there was perpetual playing of ball and fascinating running games [page 20]".

– he and his friends "played baseball and football, and a modified cricket, and on Saturdays made our way to the tenpin alleys [page 36]".

–once enrolled at Harvard College [Class of 1841] himself, he used "the heavy three-cornered bats and large balls of the game we called cricket [page 60]." Note: sounds a bit like wicket?

– in his early thirties he was president of a cricket club [and a skating club and a gymnastics club] in Worcester MA. [Pages 194-195

Source: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1898). Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), pages 33-34. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for "'cheerful yesterdays.'"

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