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Base-Ball How to Become a Player, With the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game   By: (1860-1925)

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Base Ball: How to Become a Player

With the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game

By John Montgomery Ward of the New York Base Ball Club

PREFACE.

The author ventures to present this book to the public, because he believes there are many points in the game of base ball which can be told only by a player. He has given some space to a consideration of the origin and early history of the game, because they are subjects deserving of more attention than is generally accorded them.

His principal aim, however, has been to produce a hand book of the game, a picture of the play as seen by a player. In many of its branches, base ball is still in its infancy; even in the actual play there are yet many unsettled points, and the opinions of experts differ upon important questions. The author has been as accurate as the nature of the subject would permit, and, though claiming no especial consideration for his own opinions, he thinks they will coincide in substance with those of the more experienced and intelligent players.

To Messrs. A. H. Wright, Henry Chadwick, Harry Wright, and James Whyte Davis, for materials of reference, and to Goodwin & Co., the Scientific American, and A. J. Reach, for engravings and cuts, acknowledgments are gratefully made.

JOHN M. WARD.

CONTENTS.

INTRODUCTION. AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN OF BASE BALL, WITH A BRIEF SKETCH OF ITS HISTORY

CHAPTER I. THEORY OF THE GAME A CHAPTER FOR THE LADIES.

CHAPTER II. TRAINING

CHAPTER III. THE PITCHER

CHAPTER IV. THE CATCHER

CHAPTER V. THE FIRST BASEMAN

CHAPTER VI. THE SECOND BASEMAN

CHAPTER VII. THE THIRD BASEMAN

CHAPTER VIII. THE SHORT STOP

CHAPTER IX. THE LEFT FIELDER

CHAPTER X. THE CENTRE FIELDER

CHAPTER XI. THE RIGHT FIELDER

CHAPTER XII. THE BATTER

CHAPTER XIII. THE BASE RUNNER

CHAPTER XIV. CURVE PITCHING

INTRODUCTION. AN INQUIRY INTO THE ORIGIN OF BASE BALL, WITH A BRIEF SKETCH OF ITS HISTORY.

It may or it may not be a serious reflection upon the accuracy of history that the circumstances of the invention of the first ball are enveloped in some doubt. Herodotus attributes it to the Lydians, but several other writers unite in conceding to a certain beautiful lady of Corcyra, Anagalla by name, the credit of first having made a ball for the purpose of pastime. Several passages in Homer rather sustain this latter view, and, therefore, with the weight of evidence, and to the glory of woman, we, too, shall adopt this theory. Anagalla did not apply for letters patent, but, whether from goodness of heart or inability to keep a secret, she lost no time in making known her invention and explaining its uses. Homer, then, relates how:

"O'er the green mead the sporting virgins play, Their shining veils unbound; along the skies, Tost and retost, the ball incessant flies."

And this is the first ball game on record, though it is perhaps unnecessary to say that it was not yet base ball.

No other single accident has ever been so productive of games as that invention. From the day when the Phaeacian maidens started the ball rolling down to the present time, it has been continuously in motion, and as long as children love play and adults feel the need of exercise and recreation, it will continue to roll. It has been known in all lands, and at one time or another been popular with all peoples. The Greeks and the Romans were great devotees of ball play; China was noted for her players; in the courts of Italy and France, we are told, it was in especial favor, and Fitz Stephen, writing in the 13th century, speaks of the London schoolboys playing at "the celebrated game of ball."

For many centuries no bat was known, but in those games requiring the ball to be struck, the hand alone was used. In France there was early played a species of hand ball. To protect the hands thongs were sometimes bound about them, and this eventually furnished the idea of the racquet... Continue reading book >>




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