By John Thorn, author, Baseball in the Garden of Eden
When the Knickerbockers met on December 6, 1856, they resolved “to call a convention of the various base ball clubs of this city and vicinity.” The New York Herald, in reporting on this meeting, observed: “We understand the object of this convention is to promote additional interest in base ball playing, by the getting up of grand matches on a scale not heretofore attempted.” The anticipated outcome would be to inaugurate new clubs and to strengthen existing ones, by conforming the rules and making the game more “scientific” and difficult to play—”manly,” in the preferred term of the day, like cricket—and thus of wider appeal. Children might play baseball along short base paths and catch the ball on one bound to record an out, but grown men, well…
On December 6, 1857, Porter’s Spirit of the Times published an article on the rules of base ball. It also highlighted several of the principal players of the Knickerbockers’ “First Nine”, including Doc Adams.
At a Knickerbocker meeting held that day, Doc “stated that the object to be the propriety of altering the By-Laws, and of calling a general Base Ball Convention. This seems to he the first step which originated the present ‘National Association of Base Ball Players’.”
The convention would be held at 462 Broome street, in the city of New York, on Thursday the 22d day of January next, at half-past seven o-clock P.M.”