The Knickerbocker Experience will stage a match of 1858 rules base ball and an 1865 “fly game” on Saturday, September 16, to honor baseball pioneer Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, M.D., a founding father of base ball and author of 1857 The Laws of Base Ball.
This marks the first time the annual event will be hosted in the state where Doc attended college (at Yale) and spent his “retirement” years. After his playing days, Doc Adams moved to Ridgefield in 1865 and then onto New Haven in 1888. He passed away in New Haven on January 3, 1899 and was laid to rest in Evergreen Cemetery.
Although he was retired from base ball, he became an involved, prominent and respected citizen of Connecticut:
- He was elected to one term in the Connecticut State Legislature.
- He became the first President of the Ridgefield Savings Bank (now the Fairfield County Bank where his photo still hangs in the main office), a position he would hold in two separate terms for ten of the next fifteen years.
- He was the first treasurer of the Ridgefield Library (founded in 1871).
- He served on the Ridgefield Board of Education.
- He was involved in the Ridgefield Land Improvement Association.
The Doc Adams Memorial Classic is intended to highlight the life and times of Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams and raise awareness of the baseball pioneer who hand wrote the laws of Base Ball in 1857 and was a Knickerbocker member and organizer for many years. Adams is also credited with creating the shortstop position. Hs played an instrumental role in the development, organization, and growth of baseball during its nascent period leading to the National Pastime that we know and love today.
The Knickerbocker Experience’s opponent for the game will be members of the Connecticut Bulldogs. Originally planned to be held in New Haven, the match has been moved to the historic Wethersfield Cove Park (next the DMV building) in the same village where Yale University – Doc’s alma mater was founded. The first pitch is scheduled for 11:30 AM.
Earlier in the day, several members of the Knickerbocker Experience will visit Doc’s final resting place to pay their respects to one of baseball’s most consequential, yet overlooked, pioneers.
The event will be held in cooperation with the John P Martin Historic Base Ball Series taking place on the following day at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT, providing a full weekend of fellowship and celebration of the early game and the fight against ALS.