Cricket or baseball?

major bill

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It appears most major Northern cities had both cricket and baseball teams at the start of the Civil War. I have not read enough to know if most major Southern cities also had both types of sports teams at the start of the Civil War. So my question is did either section favor one sport over the other?

Modern rules baseball started in the mid 1840s and probably had spread across the nation. This does not mean that older style of baseball and or cricket did not remain in many areas up to and even after the Civil War.
 

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major bill

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I know we all hate Wikipedia but it is a start on the subject of Cricket in the United States.

Cricket was played by British colonists in North America by the start of the 18th century.[1] Archived references to cricket played in America date from 1709. A New York newspaper from 1739 contains an advertisement for cricket players and the first documented competition occurred in 1751 in Manhattan.[2] According to William Byrd II's diary, cricket was played on the slave plantations of Virginia, including on his Westover estate among neighbors and slaves.[3] By 1793, Dartmouth College students were playing cricket on the Green.[4]
 

Cavalry Charger

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I'd imagine like many things, sports are transplanted along with the new arrivals until something unique of its own takes their place. Many of the countries colonized by Britain would have played sports popular in Britain at the time I'm guessing, and alot of them still retain their love of those sports today, as well as being fierce rivals with Britain on the international stage! Tennis is one of those things that seems to be enjoyed across the board. Football varies from place to place. But, did cricket morph into baseball or were they developed entirely separately? That would be an interesting question to ask.
 

Blockaderunner

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I am sure we have all heard of Walter S. Newhall? Who? Well he was a member of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry. He saw action during the Seven Days Battles and was wounded at Gettysburg. He rose to the rank of Captain. Sadly he drowned while crossing a stream in December 1863. What has this got to do with cricket? In August 1859, Newhall played in the first ever international cricket match. Not for England, Australia, New Zealand or India. He played for the US against those other powerhouses of international cricket, Canada.
 

Mark Roth

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He played for the US against those other powerhouses of international cricket, Canada.
On a tour of Lord's Cricket Ground in London, the home of cricket, the tour guide asked who played the first international cricket match. I called out that it was the U.S. and Canada. The people with me, Canadians and Australians, thought I was joking. The tour guide replied, "You, sir, know too much."

I cannot find any sources at the moment, but I seem to recall that cricket never expanded beyond a niche sport for certain segments of the rich. As baseball expanded in the U.S., cricket lost its chance to become a mass sport.
 

Hussar Yeomanry

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I'd imagine like many things, sports are transplanted along with the new arrivals until something unique of its own takes their place. Many of the countries colonized by Britain would have played sports popular in Britain at the time I'm guessing, and alot of them still retain their love of those sports today, as well as being fierce rivals with Britain on the international stage! Tennis is one of those things that seems to be enjoyed across the board. Football varies from place to place. But, did cricket morph into baseball or were they developed entirely separately? That would be an interesting question to ask.
A belated response but by my understanding baseball (indirectly) evolved from the British sport of Rounders (Which is still played especially at the junior level). Cricket may... or may not... have evolved from Rounders too though if so it branched out significantly further for anyone familiar with baseball would immediately see the similarities. Cricket not so much. Precise timelines are difficult to fathom and many of the records are lost to time...

:cry:

[However to support this hypothesis of a common progenitor then cricket... or at least proto-cricket... seems to appear in the records fifty to seventy five (ish) years before proto-baseball. That (I think (?)) would make sense of cricket diverging further from the ancestor]
 

Mike Serpa

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I am sure we have all heard of Walter S. Newhall? Who? Well he was a member of the 3rd Pennsylvania Cavalry. He saw action during the Seven Days Battles and was wounded at Gettysburg. He rose to the rank of Captain. Sadly he drowned while crossing a stream in December 1863. What has this got to do with cricket? In August 1859, Newhall played in the first ever international cricket match. Not for England, Australia, New Zealand or India. He played for the US against those other powerhouses of international cricket, Canada.
Nope. Never heard of him. Here is an engraving of him.
wsn.jpg

Walter S. Newhall : a memoir
by Newhall, Walter S
Publication date
1864
https://archive.org/stream/waltersnewhallme00newhuoft#page/n9/mode/2up
 

Mark Roth

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A belated response but by my understanding baseball (indirectly) evolved from the British sport of Rounders (Which is still played especially at the junior level). Cricket may... or may not... have evolved from Rounders too though if so it branched out significantly further for anyone familiar with baseball would immediately see the similarities. Cricket not so much. Precise timelines are difficult to fathom and many of the records are lost to time...

However to support this hypothesis of a common progenitor then cricket... or at least proto-cricket... seems to appear in the records fifty to seventy five (ish) years before proto-baseball. That (I think (?)) would make sense of cricket diverging further from the ancestor
As one of the few Americans who fully understands the sport of cricket, I should probably chime in. To add to my "credentials" I am currently watching a cricket match right now. Australia won the toss and sent Pakistan in. Pakistan are 41-1 after 4.2 overs. Bonus points for anyone who can say if Pakistan are winning or not.

Anyone the quoted answer is largely correct, the origins of both sports are lost in the depths and mists of time. Much like the numerous versions of football, there were many versions of "hitting bat with ball" throughout the years. Some linger on today (cricket, baseball, stoolball) while some are lost to the ages (American Wicket). Rounders and cricket were just two of many. Cricket had various upper class interests to cultivate it. Rounders was adopted by the middle class in NYC. Somewhat analogous, but much earlier and less cleaner, to how some clubs formed the Association and standardized its rules (association->assoc->soccer); while the public school system settled on the rugby rules, which made it across the pond to New England and the adaption of the uncontested scrimmage to become American Football.
 

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is a team of Aboriginals who were the first Australian team to tour Engla
The "white" fellow in the photo is Thomas Wills. A fascinating individual. Born in Australia to a wealthy family descended from convicts and grew up with Aboriginals and learned their language and customs. Sent to boarding school in England played cricket and rugby for his school and played first class cricket for Kent and the MCC.

Upon returning to Australia, he is credited with establishing the rules of Australian Rules Football in 1858, now by far the biggest football code in the country.

In 1861 Will's father (and 18 others) were massacred by Aboriginals. The largest such incident of its nature. Tom survived and actually led an Aboriginal cricket team on a tour of Australia. He could speak the language. By 1880 Tom's life had deteriorated dramatically. Alcohol played a large part. He committed suicide by stabbing himself in the heart.
 

Blockaderunner

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As one of the few Americans who fully understands the sport of cricket, I should probably chime in. To add to my "credentials" I am currently watching a cricket match right now. Australia won the toss and sent Pakistan in. Pakistan are 41-1 after 4.2 overs. Bonus points for anyone who can say if Pakistan are winning or not.
As the match was a T20 as opposed to an ODI or 5 day test, then Pakistan are going along well. They are scoring at nearly 10 per over which is good but not exceptional during the 6 over powerplay. They have lost only 1 wicket which again is good. At this stage of the game no one is winning as it could have gone either way. Pakistan did go on and win (I know because I had a few quid on them winning!)

Can I have my bonus points now?
 

AndyHall

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Houston had at least two baseball clubs shortly before the war began. It wasn’t very old sport, but it was quickly becoming a popular one.
And just about exactly a year after Appomattox, the Houston Tri-Weekly Telegraph was calling for the reorganization of the sport:

The formation of Base Ball Clubs seems to be the order of the day among the young men in many cities at the present time. We notice that some of the clubs are flaring defiance in the face of the whole world to surpass them if they can. Let us revive the one which we had here before the war. After getting the thing a little under way, no doubt us Texans can pick up a multitude of these gloves and fling them back with a vengeance. The fact is, we don’t undertake many things which we don’t surpass in, particularly in that line.
 

Mike Serpa

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As one of the few Americans who fully understands the sport of cricket, I should probably chime in. To add to my "credentials" I am currently watching a cricket match right now. Australia won the toss and sent Pakistan in. Pakistan are 41-1 after 4.2 overs. Bonus points for anyone who can say if Pakistan are winning or not.

Anyone the quoted answer is largely correct, the origins of both sports are lost in the depths and mists of time. Much like the numerous versions of football, there were many versions of "hitting bat with ball" throughout the years. Some linger on today (cricket, baseball, stoolball) while some are lost to the ages (American Wicket). Rounders and cricket were just two of many. Cricket had various upper class interests to cultivate it. Rounders was adopted by the middle class in NYC. Somewhat analogous, but much earlier and less cleaner, to how some clubs formed the Association and standardized its rules (association->assoc->soccer); while the public school system settled on the rugby rules, which made it across the pond to New England and the adaption of the uncontested scrimmage to become American Football.
I don't understand cricket!

The book about "Newhall in post #12 says this about him: "As a first-class player, his average for this, his last season, was larger than that of any cricketer known in the United States. He "went to bat" thirty-two times, and scored five hundred and forty-nine runs, making an average of seventeen in each innings; he was also distinguished as a "back-stop," a difficult and responsible post, in which, however, his prowess cannot be stated in figures. His highest match score was a hundred and five runs, but he repeatedly made upwards of fifty. He distinguished himself constantly, especially in the matches with the All England Eleven."

Would you consider him a "good player" a "great player" or an "awesome player?" Thanks, Mark.
 

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I don't understand cricket!

The book about "Newhall in post #12 says this about him: "As a first-class player, his average for this, his last season, was larger than that of any cricketer known in the United States. He "went to bat" thirty-two times, and scored five hundred and forty-nine runs, making an average of seventeen in each innings; he was also distinguished as a "back-stop," a difficult and responsible post, in which, however, his prowess cannot be stated in figures. His highest match score was a hundred and five runs, but he repeatedly made upwards of fifty. He distinguished himself constantly, especially in the matches with the All England Eleven."

Would you consider him a "good player" a "great player" or an "awesome player?" Thanks, Mark.
For the times his statistics would put him in the good to very good category. His average of 17 in his last season is not a good one by today's standards, but he was only 18 or 19 in his last season. So he might have become a "great" player but for the war.
 

Mark Roth

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Pakistan did go on and win (I know because I had a few quid on them winning!)

Can I have my bonus points now?
Quid? That's cheating. You're from the land of the Duke and the willow

I don't understand cricket!

The book about "Newhall in post #12 says this about him: "As a first-class player, his average for this, his last season, was larger than that of any cricketer known in the United States. He "went to bat" thirty-two times, and scored five hundred and forty-nine runs, making an average of seventeen in each innings; he was also distinguished as a "back-stop," a difficult and responsible post, in which, however, his prowess cannot be stated in figures. His highest match score was a hundred and five runs, but he repeatedly made upwards of fifty. He distinguished himself constantly, especially in the matches with the All England Eleven."

Would you consider him a "good player" a "great player" or an "awesome player?" Thanks, Mark.
As others have said, good for its day. A 17 average might do for a bowler (pitcher), but not a batsman (hitter). Making 100s and 50s (centuries and fifties) is good, but in a single innings, not necessarily a two innings first class match.

His lone mention on my go to site for cricket is that is was the first international cricketer to die in a war. In 1859 he had a truly awful time, scoring one in one innings and a duck (0) in the other. In his second international he scored 11 & 27. The article sites he was known more for his fielding. I can't comment on the state of fielding in 19th Century cricket, but in modern cricket there is a saying: "If you can't bat, bowl. If you can't bat or bowl, keep wicket." There is no room in a modern XI for poor hitting defensive specialist. He did, however, make some decent figures as an 18 year old in local competition.

He was no star, but played in an era where the stars weren't any good by today's standards. At least his U.S. team had the ability to play decent sides. Today's Team USA finished fourth in the tournament played to qualify for the tournament played to qualify for the Cricket World Cup qualifying tournament.
 


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