The Oregon Historical Society’s Baseball’s Magna Carta: Setting the Rules of America’s Game Exhibit opens today and runs through October 9. The public debut of the “Laws of Base Ball” authored by Doc Adams recently sold for a baseball document record $3,263,246. The papers are first being exhibited in Portland because the new owner, who chooses to remain anonymous, is a “friend of the historical society.”
The documents “thoroughly change the early history of baseball,” the historical society states. The 1857 documents are the “first written-down rules of what became the modern game,” Oregon Historical Society Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk told The Oregonian. They established the number of players in the field, the number of innings per game and the distance between bases, among other guidelines.
This compelling artifact surely establishes that Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams is unequivocally a key Founding Father of baseball and deserves to be enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Coming up merely two votes short of election in the balloting conducted last December, it would seem that this evidence, written in Doc’s own hand, should convince ALL of the members of the Pre-integration Era Committee to be re-convened next in December of 2018, to finally acknowledge Doc’s place in baseball history.