Talk About Big Shoes To Fill
It’s always a challenge for children to live up to their celebrity relatives.This article in the “Argus and Patriot” (Montpelier, VT) dated August 28, 1895 illustrates that this is not a new phenomenon.
The article is a recount of a game between National Life Insurance Company and the Vermont Mutual Fire Insurance Company. The game was played on Seminary Hill in Montpelier, Vermont on a rather inclement day. The final score was 14-7 in favor of the “fire boys”.
The game account is written in the ‘flowery style” of the day and interesting for that alone. However, about halfway into the article, specific mention is made of the right fielder, Briggs.
A great deal was expected of Briggs because his uncle, Dr. Daniel L. Adams, is the recognized father of base ball. He swung his bat rather too far from the ball to hit well, as did several of his confreres, but exhibited the best of temper when put out at third. He proved an efficient right fielder, and got just as wet as anybody.Argus and Patriot (August 28, 1895)
William Briggs, Jr. was born in Keene, New Hampshire in 1848 and was the only child of Doc’s sister Nancy Adams Briggs and William Briggs. It’s tough enough to be compared to a relative that played the game well, but, imagine the pressure of being compared to the “Father of Base Ball”. Now that’s pressure!
It’s remarkable that in 1895, Dr. Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, M.D. is referred to as “the recognized father of base ball”. That was 12 years before the Mills Commission created the Doubleday myth and 43 years before Alexander Cartwright was elected into the Hall of Fame.
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