Monday, February 20, 2012


Like many areas of New Jersey history, the story of early base ball (two words in the 19th century) in the Garden State has not been extensively explored or told. In fact, it is probably similar to New Jersey’s Civil War history 50 years ago before a dedicated group of historians began an effort that continues to this day.

The purpose of this blog then is to preserve, analyze and describe the game’s early days in New Jersey and its development throughout the rest of the century. A blog seems the most appropriate vehicle because the relatively unknown nature of the subject will continually lead to new discoveries. This also means, however, that the content will be a work-in-progress, not a finished product.

Initially the focus will be on 1855 to 1860, the time when base ball, or at least what is called the New York game came to New Jersey. Other forms of base ball that may or not have been played before that are also of interest. If things go well attention will shift to remaining four decades, but not necessarily in a strict chronological order.

Two more qualifications. There will not be much in this blog about the eight New Jersey clubs that I wrote about for the second volume of “Base Ball Pioneers, 1850-1870″ to be published by McFarland and Company. Also, in spite of the 19th century focus, the 21st century will sometimes sneak in with reports about the Flemington Neshanock, one of New Jersey’s two vintage base ball teams. I am fortunate to be the club’s scorekeeper and among the many benefits of that role is learning about 19th century base ball by participating in a recreation. It’s not the original, but it’s still a manly pastime!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent. Another 19c baseball blog to keep my addiction going!
    I recognized your name from the project protoball page and from some email exchange with Bob MacAvoy when I was researching an early Bordentown ballplayer.
    Count me in as a new regular reader from now on.