In a follow-up letter of November 17, 1905, Graves placed the event between 1839 and 1841. Cartwright was a bookseller and volunteer firefighter in Manhattan. Like many of his contemporaries, he found this useful, filling column inches during the winter months with accounts of old games. While the academic tradition has never supported the Cartwright myth, this is easy for the casual reader to overlook. Rankin had been arguing against a rounders origin before the commission was ever formed. 1 (2009). He is the man widely regarded as being most responsible for formulating the modern rules of baseball. Rankin also had an ace in the hole: scrapbooks filled with baseball items from the New York Clipper, a major baseball newspaper in the early years. Cut out that talk about town ball and rounders when talking about Manhattan Island. Any recollection from that era was interpreted through the assumption that it must be from baseball’s earliest youth, distorting the entire enterprise. In 1845, Cartwright laid out the key rules of the game, including the dimensions of the field. It was an immediate success. [fn]Block, 196-99. Contrary to the official myth about the origin of the sport, Alexander Cartwright (1820-1898) is the man who should be credited with doing the most to Rankin jumped at the chance to interview him. In 1938, Cartwright was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY as a pioneer of the game. Over the next five years it would evolve into the very different account previously quoted. [/fn], “One afternoon,” continued Mr. Curry, “when we had gathered on the lot for a game, someone, but I do not remember now who it was, had presented a plan, drawn up on paper, showing a ball field, with a diamond to play on–eighteen men could play at one time. There is a well known interview dated to 1877 that clearly does just that. The plan caused a great deal of talk, but finally we agreed to try it. For young men, ball games were one of the city’s chief entertainments in its mild weather from April through October. He had settled on the Doubleday story, placing the event in 1839. Adam Cohen : Invented the "electrochemical paintbrush", part of nanotechnology used in etching microchips. We had no name for our game.” Then the description he gave of it was very much like “One Old Cat,” but never went further than “Two Old Cat,” at any time. Forgotten is the awkward detail that Rankin’s original version was stated to be taken from his original notes. Another kernel of truth supporting this myth is the fact that modern baseball derives from a game played by organized clubs in and around New York City. Menke, Frank G. Encyclopedia of Sports (New York: F. G. Menke, Inc., 1939). He also started a letter-writing campaign, enlisting the aid of the Honolulu city manager to use his official position to bring credibility to the campaign.[fn]Ibid. He led the establishment of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club (after the Knickerbocker Fire Engine Company) in 1842. Similar to cricket, it is a bat-and-ball game with each team consisting of 9 players. The upshot is that there may be a kernel of truth to the story of the man with the plan, but all we have is its being reported second hand over two gaps of decades each and two sets of assumptions about what it should say. Base Ball: How to Become a Player (Philadelphia: Athletic Publishing, 1888). Today, he rests in Nuuanu Valley Cemetery in Honolulu, where he has been visited by baseball greats such as Babe Ruth. As experts in our field, we are confident in the services we provide – so confident that our clearances are accompanied by a full indemnification. [fn]Menke, 34. View Player Bio from the SABR BioProject. Original rules of baseball. Baseball . During stops at St. Louis and Independence, Mo., he also introduced the game. His explanation—that it referred to an unrelated game coincidentally sharing the name—was wrong, but at least he recognized that it required explanation. The new attitude was summed up by John Montgomery Ward—star player, lawyer, union organizer, and baseball historian. Cartwright was married to Eliza Van Wie, with whom he had five children: DeWitt, Mary, Kathleen, Bruce, and Alexander III. So why did the young Rankin add Cartwright’s name to the list? At that time none of us had any experience in that style of play and as there were no rules for playing the game, we had to do the best we could under the circumstances, aided by Cartwright’s judgment. [fn]The earliest suggestion of this title is from an editorial in the Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, July 12, 1868, criticizing Chadwick by name, which includes “Please understand that I am forced into a position I should have avoided but for your action. The rules of the modern game were thought to be based on the Knickerbocker Rules developed by Cartwright and a committee from his club, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, in 1845, although this is disputed. Resistance to this interpretation soon arose, on both structural and patriotic grounds. The sun shone beautifully, never do I remember noting its beams fall with a more sweet and mellow radiance than on that particular Spring day. Most regarded this as an honorary position, but Mills himself took an active interest in its work. Alexander Cartwright and the members of his New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, devised the first rules and regulations for the modern game of baseball. Cartwright was a bookseller and volunteer firefighter in Manhattan. He instituted a series of letters to the commission, supplemented by writing several columns about it. Baseball’s English origin was uncontroversial in the early years. He continued to live in Hawaii until his death on July 12, 1892 at the age of 72. It couched the call for reminiscences as a search for baseball’s origin, implying that the origin was within living memory: no earlier than about 1830 or so. The most widely known answer is that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York. A.G. Mills Papers: correspondence, clippings, minutes, 1877–1929. For several years it had been our habit to casually assemble on the plot of ground that is now known as Twenty-seven street and Fourth avenue, where the Harlem Railroad Depot afterward stood. Live All You Can: Alexander Joy Cartwright and the Invention of Modern Baseball [Martin, Jay] on Amazon.com. In 1845, Cartwright laid out the key rules of the game, including the dimensions of the field. He also served as a trusted advisor to the Royal Family of Hawaii. It describes a group of men meeting to play a game, but none could recall what that game was called. By the late 1860s and early 1870s he was the premier baseball writer in the country, with a seat in the inner circle, where he chaired the rules committee for several years. He was called the father of baseball at least as early as 1876. The problem arises from the assumption that this is not merely a story about early baseball, but about its origin. This is, while one set of players were taking their turn at bat the other side was placed in their respective position on the field. Any discussion of baseball and rounders by an Englishman could not but have a condescending air. He came across an unrelated letter from 1876, on the back of which he had written “Mr. Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr.’s dream was baseball. A special Commission of 1907 concluded that baseball had been “invented” by the Civil War hero Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. Alexander Cartwright. CMG helps you navigate through and effectively manage the licensing process, while providing peace of mind that you have addressed all the outstanding clearance concerns. This question has held a niche in the American consciousness since the 1880s. … it was Alex Cartwright who took the plans of base ball, the present game, up to the ball field and was laughed at, but he was so persistent about having his scheme tried that it was finally agreed to do so, and it proved a success from the start. It is largely a retelling of the two letters, but with much expanded detail. The two details provided turn out on examination to be some combination of uninteresting and wrong. From this kernel of truth would come forth a creation myth of baseball, with Cartwright raised from being merely the person who suggested the club to inventing the game and singlehandedly bringing the club into existence. “Then, I suppose, Base Ball sprung from Town Ball?” said I. It also said the British Museum had been asked for “all possible data on rounders.” There is no sign that any of this was carried out. Played between two teams, the game of Baseball is quite interesting and challenging. Several references can be found citing a commendation by the 83rd Congress on June 3, 1953, officially recognizing Robert Henderson for “proving” Alexander Cartwright as the inventor of baseball. He first worked at the age of 16 in 1836 as a clerk for a Wall Street broker, later clerking at Union bank of New York. For a recent and particularly thorough analysis see Nucciarone, 179–92. The Cartwright version is supported by the Doubleday version simply by virtue of being less untrue. Newspaper columns of baseball items had titles like “Diamond Dust” and the “diamond” stood for the entire game. Quite the contrary, the first known newspaper account, from 1845, of a baseball game called it a “time-honored game.”[fn]New York Morning News, October 22, 1845.[/fn]. Ball, Bat and Bishop: The Origin of Ball Games (New York: Rockport Press, 1947). Baseball . Alexander Cartwright invented modern baseball in Cooperstown, New York. 213–19. Both Cartwright and Doubleday hold the allure of the lone genius inventor, with the Doubleday story insulating the Cartwright from criticism. During his time in Hawaii, Cartwright continued to teach the game he loved so dearly, but his influence went well beyond baseball. More bio, uniform, draft, salary info He and his team played an official game a year later. An unsentimental search for evidence of Cartwright as the inventor of baseball produces thin results. Alexander Cartwright and the members of his New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club devised the first rules and regulations that were accepted for the modern game of baseball. A Sporting Time: New York City and the Rise of Modern Athletics 1820–1870 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1986). Cartwright is mentioned only in relation to the founding of the Knickerbockers. Both Abner Doubleday and Alexander Cartwright came from this: Doubleday through the front door as the official candidate, and Cartwright through the back door as the alternate. Honolulu, O'ahu, Kingdom of Hawai'i. He recalled a story about Mr. Wadsworth. The strategy adopted was to solicit reminiscences from old-timers. started the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club; true inventor of baseball. (The excerpt given previously is but a taste of a much longer account.) Alexander N. Cartwright - 4 March 2020 Completed Our Time to Lead Campaign in Spring 2020 ($1.3B), including the successful launch of an additional focus area for the campaign in 2017 focused specifically on student success efforts Sept 2014 – July 2017: … Extra attention is given to the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York as the senior baseball club, including a narrative account of their founding: During the years of 1842 and ’43, a number of gentlemen, fond of the game, casually assembled on a plot of ground in Twenty-seventh street–the one now occupied by the Harlem Railroad Depot, bringing with them their bats, balls, etc. Rankin writes that this dialogue was copied from notes he had written at that time. The additional information that he held a position at the customs house confirms what many have suspected, that Tassie was indeed thinking of Louis Wadsworth. Rankin’s introduction of Alexander Cartwright once again brings us to the assumptions of the 1870s. Why your go-to-market strategy should be industry focused; Dec. 1, 2020. Contrary to the official myth about the origin of the sport, Alexander Cartwright (1820-1898) is the man who should be credited with doing the most to invent the modern game of baseball. This was not new in 1905. Yet we think the Peterboro of today will eclipse the splendor of that behind-the-age celebrity. They proceeded to Pittsburgh, where during a stay while supplies were bought, taught the game of baseball to the young men of the town. Understand, also, that I am not the father of the game, neither am I its great defender. He continued to live in Hawaii until his death on July 12, 1892 at the age of 72. He adds details copied nearly verbatim from Peverelly, and puts additional florid details in Curry’s mouth. Seymour, Harold and Dorothy Mills. But does any evidence exist that either Cartwright or Henderson were ever recognized by Congress? More bio, uniform, draft, salary info On June 3rd 1953, Congress officially recognized Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. as the man who invented modern baseball. The commission was filled with various men chosen for the combination of baseball connection and distinguished careers. None of this exonerates Rankin. [fn]The letters cited in this section are in the A.G. Mills Papers in the A. Bartlett Giamatti Research Center of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Early on it was taken to be a defining characteristic of modern baseball. Alexander Cartwright. Whether you’re eating a hot dog, singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” or stepping up to the plate yourself. Either way, depictions of the field conventionally placed the batter at the top or the bottom of the picture rather than in a corner. Cartwright was born Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr. on April 17, 1820 in New York City. Signature. Modern baseball is still based on the guidelines. Rankin’s story had changed by this time. One might suspect that he was willing to tell Rankin whatever Rankin wanted to hear. What we have in the mysterious man’s plan are two elements which, while out of place for the 1840s, by the 1870s stood out as powerful symbols of the game. One of them—volunteer firefighter and bank clerk Alexander Joy Cartwright—would codify a new set of rules that would form the basis for modern … An earlier origin was never seriously considered. He was subject to the same assumptions underlying the Mills commission. The correspondence opens with a letter dated January 15, 1905. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Tassie remembered a story from 1857 and adjusted it to make it about baseball’s invention. Menke recognized earlier baseball, giving Cartwright credit for various innovations and standardizing the game.[/fn]. While working as a bank clerk and volunteer firefighter in New York, Cartwright started playing a popular game known as “town ball” or “base ball.” At the time, it was simply a bat and ball played by locals with an informal set of rules that got passed along by word of mouth. While working as a bank clerk and volunteer firefighter in New York, Cartwright started playing a popular game known as “town ball” or “base ball.” The Knickerbockers, in turn, were the oldest club in existence during baseball’s rise to prominence. This story was nearly ideal, with an inventor in the mold of Thomas Edison, and a war hero to boot. There was the catcher, the pitcher, three basemen, a short field and three outfielders. A discussion of the rule forbidding anyone to play for multiple clubs includes “This rule of course excludes players belonging to Junior clubs from taking part in Senior club matches, and likewise excludes players belonging to any base ball club or town ball club; but not cricket clubs, as cricket is a distinct game of ball.”[/fn], This dialectal variety extended to England. Alexander Cartwright is credited as Sportsman, official inventor of the modern game of baseball, . The Cartwright story became the standard alternative. The obvious answer is for his suggestion related in Peverelly for the formation of the Knickerbockers. We know from the club records that their games had as few as six and as many as thirteen on a side. With the final version, published in Spink’s book, Rankin pulls out all the stops. These adjustments to memory are small in comparison with Rankin’s evolving story, with each version less accurate than the version before. Played between two teams, the game of Baseball is quite interesting and challenging. The Cartwright myth is the flip side to the Doubleday myth. Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. was one of seven children born to a New York City sea merchant in 1820. 20 illustrations Alexander Cartwright: The Life Behind the Baseball Legend by Monica Nucciarone University of Nebraska Press (2009) $27.95, cloth. [fn]Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 6, 1876, where he is described as “the father of baseball, and now the governor of the destines of the Boston club.”[/fn]. This interview is the centerpiece of the claim that Cartwright invented baseball. On its face it is strong evidence indeed, with a clear statement from a participant in the event. Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. (April 17, 1820 – July 12, 1892) is referred to as a "father of baseball".Cartwright is thought to be the first person to draw a diagram of a diamond-shaped baseball field, and the rules of the modern game are based on the Knickerbocker Rules developed by Cartwright and a committee from his club, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. The Doubleday story is indeed naïve, yet the Cartwright story is scarcely less so.  Most people were willing to defer to him about baseball history. Patriotic associations were the underlying reason to reject rounders, so an inventor such as Doubleday fit neatly the prejudices of the commission. Negro League. Rankin writes how in the summer of 1877 he was standing near Brooklyn City Hall conversing with Robert Ferguson—a star player and manager of the day—when Ferguson pointed out a nearby gentleman, declared “here comes one of the real fathers of Base Ball” and introduced him to Duncan Curry. It is impossible to make even an educated guess as to what that truth might be. Similar to cricket, it is a bat-and-ball game with each team consisting of 9 players. To run and get the ball thrown in from the field, or when thrown wildly by the catcher when returning it to the pitcher. The Mills Commission was created in direct response to his refusal to abandon it. Peverelly doesn’t name his source for the story of the creation of the Knickerbockers. We had no name in particular for it. This soon changed. William Rankin was born in 1849 in Pennsylvania. The inventor of Baseball Alexander Cartwright. Cartwright is thought to be the first person to draw a diagram of a diamond shaped baseball field, and the rules of the modern game are based on the Knickerbocker Rules developed by Cartwright and a committee from his club, the Knickerbocker … [fn]The New York Sun, May 2, 1905, states that the commission would consult “the leading baseball libraries of America” and even offered some specific suggestions. In the 1850s nine came to be the usual size in match games between clubs, and this was codified in the 1857 rules revision. [/fn] Notable works since include Melvin Adelman’s A Sporting Time: New York City and the Rise of Modern Athletics, 1820–1870 from 1986, David Block’s Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game from 2006, and Monica Nucciarone’s Alexander Cartwright: The Life Behind the Baseball Legend from 2009. The invention of baseball is usually credited to Abner Doubleday in 1870. It is likely that this was an oral tradition within the club. AKA Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. Bruce Cartwright wrote a series of letters promoting his grandfather’s case. 555 N. Central Ave. #416 Peterson, Harold “Baseball’s Johnny Appleseed,” Sports Illustrated, April 14, 1969. Baseball’s “diamond” early on took iconic status. In the meantime, Rankin was another of the commission’s correspondents. famous player during the Roaring '20s Baseball Hall of Fame founded in Cooperstown, NY. Phoenix, AZ 85004 His enshrinement plaque reads “Father of the Modern Game of Baseball.”. It was Dick Pearce who first made the short field one of the most important on the ball field. The context of the conversation was the invention of baseball, so he remembered this as an invention story. The Doubleday Myth has been debunked many times. Of particular interest are the original (and most accurate) version, and that with the replacement of Wadsworth by Cartwright. In fact, pre-modern versions of baseball had varying numbers of bases, most often from four to six, often arranged in a regular polygon. Cartwright was born Alexander Joy Cartwright Jr. on April 17, 1820 in New York City. He saw Tassie’s Mr. Wadsworth as a potential solution, carrying the game from Cooperstown to New York and introducing it to the Knickerbockers. Since joining the University of Missouri in August 2017, Chancellor Baseball’s rules continued to evolve, making the game less like rounders and the connection less obvious. It was not Curry who had forgotten this man’s identity, but Rankin who had forgotten the name Curry had given. Copies were kept by the family, some of them doctored to add baseball references, with these references disseminated by Bruce Cartwright. Alex. Alexander "Alick" Joy Cartwright Jr. is referred to as a "father of baseball". For many decades, controversy surrounded the origins of America’s national pastime, with many claiming that Civil War soldier Abner Doubleday was the true inventor of the game. Cartwright was married to Eliza Van Wie, with whom he had five children: DeWitt, Mary, Kathleen, Bruce, and Alexander III. WILLIAM RANKIN AND THE DUNCAN CURRY INTERVIEW. However, later research called this scenario into question. There was one of the greatest little players that ever played ball.”. The Doubleday story is indeed naïve, yet the Cartwright story is scarcely less so. Base ball was invented by the Dutch and pray, what did they know about the English game of rounders? Including Cartwright, not fewer than four persons have been granted the status. Live All You Can: Alexander Joy Cartwright and the Invention of Baseball by Jay Martin Columbia University Press (2009) $22.95, cloth. He wrote in his column of December 17, 1904: Oh, fudge! 326 pages. Alex. It might be a jocular reference to his range factor, but this explanation is purely speculative.[/fn]. The New York version completely displaced the various indigenous local versions of baseball, and they were forgotten. Rankin also had a cantankerous bent. This academic tradition often makes the effort to debunk the Doubleday myth at length while completely ignoring the Cartwright myth. Among the rules established by Cartwright were the way teams record an out, the diamond shaped layout of the field, and the designation of fair and foul areas. An article from the Society for American Baseball Research works through the evolution of the Later on, he became a bookseller and a volunteer fireman. Upon arriving in San Francisco, Cartwright had very little luck finding his fortune, and soon left for the island of Hawaii. He most especially loved turning his firepower on Henry Chadwick. (This report of Cartwright family oral history lends itself to the interpretation that it is yet another example of the search for an inventor distorting memories.) “No.” said he, “We never played Town Ball, as I understand it was played in Philadelphia. While Cartwright’s exact role in the history of baseball has been debated, it is clear he was one of the most important figures in the development of modern baseball, so much so that Congress has officially recognized him as the inventor of the modern game. It is my hope that this article can serve as a small remedy, by pointing out not only that the Cartwright myth is untrue, but also that it was poorly supported from the beginning: an edifice built on the flexible recollections of a man with an axe to grind. He brought the tools of scholarship to the question of baseball’s origin, culminating in 1947 with Ball, Bat and Bishop: The Origin of Ball Games. Who invented baseball? There are good reasons to doubt this older boy was the Abner Doubleday who went on to be a general in the Civil War, but even that is a minor problem. View Alexander Cartwright's Page at the Baseball Hall of Fame (plaque, photos, videos). As baseball rose to cultural prominence in America in the 1850s, transatlantic observers frequently noted that it was called “rounders” in England. He also identified the man: I think it was a Mr. Wadsworth. He had called upon some of the surviving veterans, who again all denied having played rounders or town ball. Reach out to us today if you’d like to learn more about how we can help. The two most well-known stories of baseball’s creation — that of Abner Doubleday in 1839 and Alexander Cartwright in 1845 — are intimately connected: born together in the early 20th century and joined ever since. This marks the entry of Alexander Cartwright’s grandson, Bruce Cartwright, Jr., into the discussion. The man with the diagram would go on to be the most influential elements of these letters, but Rankin is clear in his letter that his main point is that baseball did not derive from either rounders or town ball. It could not, however, stand alone. The man who could pitch the speediest ball with the most accuracy was the one selected to do the pitching. He has Curry expressly not naming who brought the plan, nor is it stated that this unnamed person was the inventor. As Rankin related Curry’s story about a man with a paper, Tassie broke in excitedly and confirmed the story. View Alexander Cartwright's Page at the Baseball Hall of Fame (plaque, photos, videos). One of them, William Van Cott, confirmed that. [/fn] One of the few details of pre-modern baseball that was remembered was that they often had a different configuration, and so the diamond came to represent modernity in baseball. 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