Buffalo, New York August 1939
Written by: Roger Cook Adams
“During the present year when the centennial of the first out-break of base ball is being celebrated at Cooperstown, it may be of interest to record the important part played in the development of the game by an early member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York.”
“In the interest of uniformity it seemed wise to call a convention of representatives of all the club to establish a permanent code of rules by which all should be governed, and a call for such a convention was issued by the officers of the Knickerbockers as the senior organization, and the first convention of base ball players was assembled in May 1857. Dr. Adams was elected presiding officer. In March 1858 a second convention was held, and at this meeting the convention was declared a permanent organization, and with the requisite constitution and bylaws became the ‘National Association of Base Ball Players.’
Dr. Adams was chairman of the committee on rules and regulations from the start, and held this office until he resigned from the Knickerbockers in 1862. After careful study he presented the first draft of rules, and it was in the main adopted.
Although the Doctor held a dominant position with the Knickerbockers, particularly as to playing rules, there was one change dear to his heart which was repeatedly defeated. The rules of 1848 and 1854 both read “a ball being struck or tipped, and caught either flying or on first bound, is a hand out.” The Doctor, year after year, proposed that a fly should be out only if caught before touching the ground, and finally succeeded in bringing this change about. It appears in the Knickerbocker rules of 1857.”