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.”
“He was often asked in later years how the game originated, but was unable to fix any definite starting point. He believed it developed from the English game of rounders, which was played with bat, ball and bases, although the runner was put out by being hit by a thrown ball, instead of being tagged as in base ball. Henry Chadwick, who wrote voluminously about base ball for a period of about fifty years, agreed as to this, and certainly neither had ever heard of any creative part in the game by Abner Doubleday.
According to the citation in the pamphlet of the national base ball museum of Cooperstown, N.Y., Chadwick was the author of the first rule book in 1858, also chairman of the rules committee in the first nation-wide base ball organization. These claims are obviously not well founded. In a newspaper interview in Buffalo in September 1904, Chadwick stated “The first time I ever played base ball was late in the fall, October I think it must have been, 1848. That was at Hoboken. Before that I had played rounders, from which base ball sprung over in England.” In a letter from Mr. Chadwick to Dr. Adams dated August 16th, 1898, he says: “That title of ‘Father of Base Ball’ is out of place. Base ball, like Topsy ‘never had no fader’; it growed up.””
This is the 4th and fibal installmant of a 4-part series of extracts from Roger Cook Adams interview discussing his father, Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams. Here are the 1st installment, 2nd installment, and 3rd installment.