Marjorie Adams capped off her exciting SABR 47 (the National convention of the Society of American Baseball Research) experience by receiving an Honorable Mention for her oral presentation “Doc Adams: A Founding Father of Baseball”. Congratulations to Marjorie for this acknowledgement of her engaging and educational presentation on her great-grandfather, a pioneer of our National Pastime.
RP08: Doc Adams: A Founding Father of Baseball
Marjorie P. Adams
From 1839 to 1862, Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams played base ball in New York City and was a pioneering influence on the development and growth of our National Pastime. From 1845-1862 he was a member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, serving many years as its President, Vice President and Director. During his years with the club Doc Adams authored the “Laws of Base Ball” in 1857 that (in part) specified: 90 feet between bases and 45 feet from pitcher’s base to home; 9 innings of play; 9 players per side; no wagering by anyone involved in the game being played; and the “Fly-game”. He also created and developed the shortstop position, personally made all the balls for the club, supervised the manufacture of the bats, and presided over the convention of NYC clubs to standardize the rules of the game. Marjorie Adams draws on her family archives and ephemera in addition to more traditional sources to provide an in-depth look into the man John Thorn called “the true father of baseball – and you’ve never even heard of him!”
Marjorie P. Adams <email@example.com> was born in NYC between the year Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the year he won the National League MVP. As a child, she was never interested in sports of any kind but the sounds of a Yankees game on the radio were always comforting because it meant her father was home and ‘puttering’ around the house doing chores for her mother and so all was right in her little world. She much preferred playing with her dolls and reading American History: the latter remains one of her main interests. She graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri (BA ’71) and most of her career was spent in the furniture industry. While coming late to an interest in the history of our National Pastime, she’s playing catch-up as fast as she can and enjoying every minute of it. Over the last six years she has attended vintage baseball games from Maine to Pennsylvania to see and learn how the game was played in Doc Adams’s day and to educate people on his contributions to the game. The Doc Adams website, www.docadamsbaseball.org, thanks to SABR member Roger Ratzenberger (and many others), contains a wealth of information on Doc. In honor and memory of her father and grandfather (Doc’s youngest child), it is Marjorie’s mission to see Doc Adams inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“The annual SABR convention, which is open to all baseball fans, includes top featured speakers from around the baseball world — front-office executives, players, managers, scouts, journalists, historians, and analysts — innovative panel discussions, groundbreaking research presentations, major-league games, the SABR Trivia Contest, the Awards Reception, and most of all, the opportunity to make and renew baseball friendships over the course of this exciting and memorable event.”