Baseball's Creation Myth: Adam Ford, Abner Graves and the Cooperstown Storyby Brian Martin
The story about baseball's being invented in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839 by Abner Doubleday served to prove that the U.S. national pastime was an American game, not derived from the English children's game of rounders as had been believed. The tale, embraced by Americans, has long been proven false but to this day, Cooperstown is celebrated as the birthplace of… See more details below
The story about baseball's being invented in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839 by Abner Doubleday served to prove that the U.S. national pastime was an American game, not derived from the English children's game of rounders as had been believed. The tale, embraced by Americans, has long been proven false but to this day, Cooperstown is celebrated as the birthplace of baseball. The story has captured the hearts of millions. But who spun that tale and why?
This book provides a surprising answer about the origins of America's most durable myth. It seems that Abner Graves, who espoused Cooperstown as the birthplace of the game, likely was inspired by another story about an early game of baseball. The stories were remarkably similar, as were the men who told them. For the first time, this book links the stories and lives of Graves, a mining engineer, and Adam Ford, a medical doctor, both residents of Denver, Colorado. While the actual origins of the game of baseball remain subject to debate and study, new light is shed on the source of baseball's durable creation myth.
- McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)
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Baseball’s Creation Myth: Adam Ford, Abner Graves and the Cooperstown Story by Brain Martin explains how the story of Abner Doubleday being the inventor of baseball came about and the roles that were played by Adam Ford and Abner Graves and how their life stories paralleled each other. The creation story actually begins in the early 1900s when Albert Spalding created a commission whose sole purpose was to prove that baseball was an authentic American game and creation. He was not interested in anything having to do with cricket or “rounders”. In this period of Theodore Roosevelt and the growth of Americanism it had to be shown that baseball was American. Into this situation stepped Abner Graves who recalled seeing a ballgame that Doubleday, the Civil War general, had laid out in Cooperstown NY in 1839. This being the earliest date that the Spalding’s commission heard and with no further proof it became the accepted birth of baseball. Over the years Graves embellished his story to the point that he even played in the “first” baseball game. But was his memory correct or did he pick up the story from Adam Ford, who also lived in Denver and told a similar story of a baseball game in 1938 150 west of Cooperstown in Beachville, Ontario? Ford would tell his story over the years but never pressed it as being the first baseball game. What does this do to the Doubleday story and Cooperstown? For years Americans have accepted the Graves story, even though most people have never heard about him or his extremely interesting life. Doubleday and Cooperstown have been accepted as the creator and the place that baseball, the great American Game, was founded. Martin explores the lives of the people involved in the story and produces research in the field of Baseball History. Is it enough to crack the foundation of the story that has been accepted for so long? This is a book that every lover of baseball should read. It gives very interesting individual life stories of Ford and Graves and it is fascinating how their lives paralleled. It is an excellent review of the early history of the game that is loved by so many. It is an American game but may need be called a North American game.