John Thorn recently gave a lecture in the Oregon Historical Society’s summer series, entitled, “Baseball in the Garden of Eden (can be heard in its entirety here)“. It was on the occasion of the ‘Laws of Base Ball’ making its public debut at the Oregon Historical Society. The lecture was enlightening and entertaining (would have loved to have been there) and definitely worth a listen.
Three key highlights (with their approximate location within the audio file) of the lecture are transcribed below:
(37:12) When the veteran’s committee of the Baseball Hall of Fame voted on Adams last year, one of the reasons that some voters withheld their ballot for was Adams was that the only proof of Adams’ achievement was his own attestation as a man in his 80’s.”
(39:20) Now with the rediscovery of his Laws of Base Ball, drafted for presentation to the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club and thence to the floor of the 1857 Convention, we have tangible primary evidence of his genius. Somebody asked me, today, how many votes I thought Adams might get when he comes up for election at the Hall of Fame, because out of the 16, he got 10 last time, 12 is necessary, for election. I said I thought it would be 16 because what you have here in Portland today is incontrovertible proof of Adams genius. “
(44:45) “The Hall of Fame knows about this story. They know that Adams is going to be a member of the Hall of Fame at some point”.