The 1857 Convention of Base Ball Players met for the first time on January 22 at Smith’s Hotel, the headquarters of the Knickerbocker Club, with the following clubs represented: Knickerbocker, Gotham, Eagle, Empire, Putnam, Baltic, Excelsior, Atlantic, Harmony, Harlem, Eckford, Bedford, Narrau, and Continental. The clubs elected Daniel Adams of the Knickerbockers as president of the convention and then appointed a rules committee, made up of one member of each represented club. This was perhaps the most important meeting in the history of baseball. It was a meeting of the baseball clubs of New York City, and unlike the previous meeting in 1854, it became the basis for a permanent organization that a year later would take the name the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP).
At the close of 1856 there were 12 clubs in existence, and it was decided to hold a convention of delegates from all of these for the purpose of establishing a permanent code of rules by which all should be governed … the result was the assembling of the first convention of base ball players in May [sic] 1857. I was elected presiding officer. In March of the next year the second convention was held, and at this meeting the annual convention was declared a permanent organization, and with the requisite constitution and bylaws became the National Association of Base Ball Players.“Dr. D. L. Adams: Memoirs of the Father of Base Ball“, The Sporting News (February 29, 1896), Daniel Lucius Adams, M.D.
The Convention met together shortly after the hour appointed, and being satisfied with each other’s personal appearance, (justly so, for most of them were splendid looking fellows) the delegates proceeded to elect a President and officers, when the following were appointed:Porter’s Spirit of the Times (Jan 31, 1857)
President – Dr. D.L. Adams, of the Knickerbockers
It is hoped that someday, Doc Adams will again be elected. This time as a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.