So far the earliest reference we have found referring to Dr. Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, M.D. as a “Father of Baseball” in June 23, 1895. 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.
This article was in a column called “Side Lights On The Ball Field” in the Chicago Chronicle. The piece teases the article with “The Father of the National Game Still Living In New Haven” and starts out with “Father of Baseball”.
Doc Adams was re-discovered by John Thorn, Official Historian of Major League Baseball. Adams’s handwritten ‘Laws of Base Ball” were rediscovered in 2016 and sold a auction for $3.26 million.
The case for Doc Adams election to the National Hall of Fame is based on research by independent, respected baseball historians, vintage, historic newspaper records (that are now much more accessible), and tangible, primary evidence. It is fact-based and stands on its own.