Friday, September 12, 2008

Re-writing baseball's birthplace

No, not talking asterisks here. I'm talking 'bout the earliest known reference to a game called "base ball", found in England, of all places, in 1755. Big deal? I could care less where the game came from, personally, but it's interesting for the sake of history, I guess.

Julian Pooley, the manager of the Surrey History Centre, said Thursday he has authenticated a reference to baseball in a diary by English lawyer William Bray dating back to 1755 -- about 50 years before what was previously believed to have been the first known reference to what became the American pastime.

The entry reads:

"Easter Monday 31 March 1755

"Went to Stoke Ch. This morning. After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale's to play at Base Ball with her, the 3 Miss Whiteheads, Miss Billinghurst, Miss Molly Flutter, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Ford & H. Parsons & Jelly. Drank Tea and stayed till 8."
Playing baseball with 6 women? Could this "Base Ball" mean, I dunno, something else?

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