On September 23, 1845, by virtue of its constitution and by-laws, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club was officially formed.
Considered by most baseball historians to have been the first officially organized base ball (2 words in the 19th century) club; whether or not the Knickerbockers were the first, their pioneering influence on the development of our National Pastime in its earliest days is certainly agreed upon.
Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, MD joined the team about a month later and played in their two inter-mural games in November of that year. While maintaining his medical practice and his work attending to the poor over his 17 years with the club, DOC ADAMS:
- Served 1 year as Vice President (1846), 6 as President and several terms as a Director.
- 1849: CREDITED WITH CREATING THE SHORTSTOP POSITION and was first to occupy it
- 1849, 53, 56 and 57 – presided over the first NYC conventions to standardized the rules of the game
- 1857 — CALCULATED AND SET THE BASES AT 90 FT and the distance from pitcher’s base to homeplate at 45ft.
- 1858 – FIRST UMPIRE to call men out on non-swinging strikes
- Made all the balls for his team and supervised the manufacture of the bats
- Was an early advocate for 9 men/9 innings, presided over the rules committee that passed that rule
- Strongly advocated for the fly-game which did not pass until just after he retired from the Club in 1862
- Played all positions except pitcher.
Last year, the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) elected Doc Adams their 2014 OVERLOOKED 19TH C. BASEBALL LEGEND (a tremendous honor).
This year, the Pre-Integration Committee of the Baseball Writers Association of America will nominate those pre-1947 players, managers and umpires for NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME recognition. THIS IS THE YEAR NOT ONLY TO GET DOC ADAMS ON THE BALLOT (next month) BUT TO ELECT HIM TO BASEBALL HALL OF FAME.
Please take the time to sign our petition and/or visit the Doc Adams Facebook page and “like” it and PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS — THE MORE PEOPLE WHO SEE IT, THE BETTER THE CHANCES OF ACHIEVING OUR GOAL.