VINTAGE GAME TO BOOST AWARENESS OF FORGOTTEN BASEBALL LEGEND
Former physician from New Hampshire wrote 1857 “Laws of Base Ball”
UPDATED: September 18, 2021
Breaking…Due to the wet weather and the inability to hay the field in preparation for Lamson Farm Day, the Doc Adams Birthplace Classic has been moved to McCollom Field across the road from the Mont Vernon Village School where ample parking is available.
On Saturday, September 25, the Mont Vernon Historical Society will honor the contributions of early baseball pioneer, Daniel L “Doc” Adams, MD with a day of vintage base ball featuring players from across the United States playing by the rules and customs of the mid-nineteenth century. The games are being held in conjunction with the annual Lamson Farm Day – a celebration of agriculture and rural life in New Hampshire.
Adams was born in Mont Vernon, NH in 1814 and later became a founding member of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club in New York City and served as President for several years during the formative years of the sport when he wrote “The Laws of Base Ball” in 1857. The special baseball games have been held annually since 2016 to raise awareness for Adams’ inclusion on the 2022 Early Baseball Era Committee ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
In addition to Adams’ influence in codifying the rules, he oversaw the manufacturing of bats and made all the balls by hand (which were not readily available back then). He also organized regular matches with other Clubs at the storied Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey where it has been said that the first modern match of baseball was held in 1846. In I849, Doc invented and played the position of shortstop, as the balls were often too light to make a throw from the outfield without a middle person to relay the ball.
John Thorn, the Official Historian of Major League Baseball and extensive researcher of the formative years of baseball in America recently stated in his Our Game blog that, “Adams is baseball’s most important figure not in the Hall of Fame…With the recent discovery of his ‘Laws of Base Ball’ we have tangible primary evidence of his genius. More than anyone else, he created our game of nine innings, nine men, and ninety-foot base paths.”
Doc’s biggest advocate for the Hall of Fame was his great-granddaughter Marjorie Adams, who passed away in July (See Marjorie Adams, Who Went to Bat for a Baseball Pioneer, Dies at 72, NY Times 7/20/21). Marjorie made thousands of friends through her involvement in Society of American Baseball Research and the vintage base ball community throughout the United States. In 2012, she worked to establish an online petition at docadamsbaseball.org that is now approaching 2,000 signatures from people who would like to see Adams enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Furthermore, a recent letter of support was sent to the Chair of the Historical Overview Committee of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) representing 40 vintage base ball teams from the Northeast and over 500 people.
Adams related ephemera will be a feature of the event including some players sporting a custom-tailored replica uniform reminiscent of what Adams wore for the K.B.B.C. in the 1840s and 50’s.
Admission to Lamson Farm Days is free and there will be a host of activities in addition to baseball including a trap shoot, hayrides, chicken barbecue, and more. Lamson Farm is located minutes from State Hwy 13 at 40 Cross Road Mont Vernon, NH.
Note: The baseball games will be held at the McCollom Field on the grounds of the Mont Vernon Village School located at 1 Kittredge Road, Mont Vernon, NH. Signage will be present to forward attendees in the right direction. Follow the “Doc Adams Birthplace Classic” event page on Facebook for updates.
The ball games commence at 11:00 AM and will run back-to-back until completion of the third game.
Lamson Farm Day runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
So come on down to Lamson Farm, Mont Vernon, New Hampshire, enjoy a great day of vintage 1864 rules base ball.