Did Abner Doubleday invent baseball or is that a myth?

major bill

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Some people stand by the claim that Doubleday invented baseball other dismiss it as a myth. The normal dismissal is that Doubleday himself never claimed he invented the game and the whole proof that Doubleday invented baseball rests on the claim of a man 68 years after the event.
 
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Kurt G

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He did not invent it . According to MLB "some people claim Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown , New York." Some people also claim John Wilkes Booth escaped and was never captured .In both cases the claims are totally wrong. So the Baseball Hall of fame is in Cooperstown based on a myth. Baseball probably evolved from the British game rounders. An unreliable man named Abner Graves told the Mills Commission in 1905 that Doubleday had invented it in Cooperstown . The commission would not accept that the American game of baseball had British origins despite a lot of evidence and went with Graves account . I am not a fan of the game . My girlfriend is a huge baseball fan ( Detroit Tigers) and wants to go to Cooperstown .That's fine with me . I'm sure there are a few Revolutionary war sites nearby.
 

Kurt G

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I grew up a couple of miles from Oneida Lake, so St. Leger passed right through the area. Honestly, the history buff that I am, I've never really appreciated it as much as I should.
We've been to upstate NY twice . I've always been interested in the Revolution and the French and Indian War . My girlfriends ancestors were Loyalists who fought with the Iroquois. She had an ancestor who served in Butler's Rangers . So many forts and battlefields to see ! Being from Michigan we have some history with the war of 1812 and Pontiac's Uprising , but nothing close to NY. I suppose some people from Virginia don't appreciate the Civil War history that surrounds them since it was something they grew up with as well.
 

lupaglupa

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@Kurt G have you done Saratoga? That's a great battlefield to tour - and Saratoga Springs is a fun town to visit.

My husband's ancestors were on the opposite side from your girlfriend's. His immigrant ancestor died at Oriskany, that man's son was captured by a loyalist patrol and shipped to a POW camp in Canada. He has deep roots in the Mohawk Valley.
 

Kurt G

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@Kurt G have you done Saratoga? That's a great battlefield to tour - and Saratoga Springs is a fun town to visit.

My husband's ancestors were on the opposite side from your girlfriend's. His immigrant ancestor died at Oriskany, that man's son was captured by a loyalist patrol and shipped to a POW camp in Canada. He has deep roots in the Mohawk Valley.
Yes , Saratoga , Fort Stanwix , Fort Niagara , Crown Point , Fort William Henry , Fort Klock , the Grant Cottage , etc. Also visited the site of Bloody Pond ( 1755) where one of my girlfriend's ancestors was killed. I am envious of her because she had many in the Civil War as well...16th Michigan , 8th Michigan cavalry , Wilder's Brigade , 1st Michigan ( present at Gettysburg) and several NY regiments . We also visited the Oriskany site . The Mohawk valley was truly a civil war back then with neighbors and family fighting other neighbors and family.
 

lupaglupa

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Yes , Saratoga , Fort Stanwix , Fort Niagara , Crown Point , Fort William Henry , Fort Klock , the Grant Cottage , etc. Also visited the site of Bloody Pond ( 1755) where one of my girlfriend's ancestors was killed. I am envious of her because she had many in the Civil War as well...16th Michigan , 8th Michigan cavalry , Wilder's Brigade , 1st Michigan ( present at Gettysburg) and several NY regiments . We also visited the Oriskany site . The Mohawk valley was truly a civil war back then with neighbors and family fighting other neighbors and family.
So now you can go south along the Hudson - Olana, Kingston, Hyde Park, West Point. Lots to see :smile:
 

Dave DuBrucq

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The Abner Doubleday story is fun, but it is a myth. According to John Thorn, author of Garden of Eden the Secret History of the Early Game, several versions of the game were played in the 18th Century in different parts of the country. Eventually, the New York game, which included foul territory and required players to stay on the base path while running won out. According the Thorn, the Doubleday myth was started by a mining engineer in Colorado.
 

Gettysburg Guide #154

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Although Doubleday did not invent baseball, the game as we know it grew in no small part out of the effort of Civil War soldiers to combat boredom in camp. Men from different areas and regions played the game differently. If you ever played in the street or in a vacant lot, you know that the rules for one field differed and were adapted to the idiosyncrasies of that particular field (and sometimes even to how many players were available on each side). The soldiers needed to synthesize the rules and make them uniform. What emerged was basically what was then called the "New York Game".

When you visit Gettysburg, you will likely stop at the site where General John Reynolds was killed. If you look a bit to the south, you will see the statue of General Abner Doubleday, seemingly ready to take command of the AOP First Corps upon Reynolds' death. The bronze statue stands 9 feet tall atop a stone pedestal. It was sculpted by John Massey Rhind, who did several portrait statues of New York generals.
 

Kurt G

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Although Doubleday did not invent baseball, the game as we know it grew in no small part out of the effort of Civil War soldiers to combat boredom in camp. Men from different areas and regions played the game differently. If you ever played in the street or in a vacant lot, you know that the rules for one field differed and were adapted to the idiosyncrasies of that particular field (and sometimes even to how many players were available on each side). The soldiers needed to synthesize the rules and make them uniform. What emerged was basically what was then called the "New York Game".

When you visit Gettysburg, you will likely stop at the site where General John Reynolds was killed. If you look a bit to the south, you will see the statue of General Abner Doubleday, seemingly ready to take command of the AOP First Corps upon Reynolds' death. The bronze statue stands 9 feet tall atop a stone pedestal. It was sculpted by John Massey Rhind, who did several portrait statues of New York generals.
It is a fine looking monument

DSC_0182 (2).JPG
 

rpkennedy

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Although Doubleday did not invent baseball, the game as we know it grew in no small part out of the effort of Civil War soldiers to combat boredom in camp. Men from different areas and regions played the game differently. If you ever played in the street or in a vacant lot, you know that the rules for one field differed and were adapted to the idiosyncrasies of that particular field (and sometimes even to how many players were available on each side). The soldiers needed to synthesize the rules and make them uniform. What emerged was basically what was then called the "New York Game".

When you visit Gettysburg, you will likely stop at the site where General John Reynolds was killed. If you look a bit to the south, you will see the statue of General Abner Doubleday, seemingly ready to take command of the AOP First Corps upon Reynolds' death. The bronze statue stands 9 feet tall atop a stone pedestal. It was sculpted by John Massey Rhind, who did several portrait statues of New York generals.

In a long career in the US Army, July 1 was probably Abner Doubleday's finest hour as a soldier, right when the AotP needed someone to step up after Reynolds' death. It's a shame that he and Meade hated one another and that Doubleday has faded into the background of Gettysburg.

Ryan
 

CivilWarTalk

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It's funny that the topic of Abner Doubleday Inventing Baseball comes up again today.

I was recently looking at some documents from the 80's that were issued, and I'm not sure if it was for the instructors, or for the cadets at the USMA at West Point, but it was like a curriculum with important information for every cadet. One section included historical bullet points that every cadet was expected to know about the academy history.

There wasn't an asterisk next to Doubleday inventing baseball, made me wonder what the cadets are taught today....
 

Dave DuBrucq

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It's funny that the topic of Abner Doubleday Inventing Baseball comes up again today.

I was recently looking at some documents from the 80's that were issued, and I'm not sure if it was for the instructors, or for the cadets at the USMA at West Point, but it was like a curriculum with important information for every cadet. One section included historical bullet points that every cadet was expected to know about the academy history.

There wasn't an asterisk next to Doubleday inventing baseball, made me wonder what the cadets are taught today....
I think, Mike, that the myth has been around for so long it has become dogma, even at West Point.
 
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