Early baseball in Massachusetts/Predecessor Game 63

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Location Massachusetts
Year 1853
City Exeter
State MA
Country US
Name of game Rounders (retro)

"The game of "rounders," as it was played in the days before the Civil War, had only a faint resemblance to our modern baseball. For a description of a typical contest, which took place in 1853, we are indebted to Dr. William A. Mowry:"

[Several students had posted a challenge to play "a game of ball," and that challenge was accepted.] �The game was a long one. No account was made of �innings;' the record was merely of runs. When one had knocked the ball, had run the bases, and had reached the �home goal,' that counted one �tally.' The game was for fifty tallies. . . . [T]he pitcher stood midway between the second and third bases, but nearer the center of the square . . . Well, we beat the eleven [50-37].' [Mowry then tells of his success in letting the ball hit the ball and glance away over the wall "behind the catchers," which allowed him to put his side ahead.]

Claude M. Fuess, An Old New England School: A History of Phillips Academy, Andover [Houghton Mifflin, 1917], pp. 449-450. Researched by George Thompson, based on partial information from reading notes by Harold Seymour. Note: It appears that Fuess saw this game as rounders, but Mowry did not use that name. The game as described is indistinguishable from the MA game.

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