Gentlemen at the Bat: A Fictional Oral History of the New York Knickerbockers and the Early Days of Base Ball

Gentlemen at the Bat: A Fictional Oral History of the New York Knickerbockers and the Early Days of Base Ball

by Howard Burman

Paperback

$19.99

Overview

Beginning in 1845, the New York Knickerbockers were the first fully organized base ball club to play the game with written rules similar to those used today. While they did not invent the game, they had an unparalleled role in stabilizing the playing rules and maintaining standards of conduct in a way that fostered an astonishing proliferation of players and clubs. Based on years of research and told in the style of oral history, this fictional work features all the principal figures from the Knickerbocker club, including Doc Adams, James Whyte Davis, Alexander Cartwright, William Wheaton, and Duncan Curry.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786447206
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/27/2010
Series: Sport & Leisure/Baseball/Teams
Pages: 364
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Former professor Howard Burman has taught literature overseas and served as an artistic producing director of several professional theatres. He is a full-time writer dividing his time between California and Ireland.

Table of Contents

A Note from the Author xi

Prologue: A Real Letter Jim Davis Edward Talcott 1

Part 1 The early days

1 On Beginnings 3

2 Meeting Doc and Poor Old Davis 4

3 And a Few Other Early Players 10

4 Gentlemen Playing all Manner of Games 14

5 A Connection is Made Between Volunteer Fire Companies and Base Ball 19

6 Playing at Madison Park 24

7 Moving to Sunfish Pond 26

8 On the Move Again 29

9 Alick Makes a Suggestion 41

10 The Idea of Clubs 46

Part 2 Organizing the club 1845

11 Recruiting Members 51

12 Writing Rules 52

13 Gentlemen Inventing a Club 53

14 A Trip Across the River 66

15 Playing the First Games as the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club 69

16 Other Clubs, Other Games 72

17 Can They Carry On? 76

Part 3 First full Season 1846

18 An Important Decision 79

19 The First Match Game 81

20 Returning to Club Games 87

Part 4 Struggle for survival 1847-1849

21 The Winters Between 91

22 Struggles for Survival 95

23 On Operating a Gentlemen's Club 96

24 Games Amongst Members 98

25 Doc Invents a New Position 100

26 Sporting New Uniforms 102

27 On Crowds and Riots 103

28 Of Bats and Balls 104

29 Printing the Rules 106

30 Going for the Gold 108

Part 5 The national game 1850-1854

31 Members Old and New 113

32 Base Ball, Base Ball, Base Ball 115

33 Return to Playing Other Clubs 119

34 On Matters Political 122

35 Dinners and Diversions 123

36 The National Game 124

37 Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds 127

38 Good Players 131

39 Spectators 133

40 The Umpire Issue 135

Part 6 Base ball fever 1855-1857

41 The Fever Spreads 139

42 Club Squabbles 141

43 Time to Organize 144

44 To Plan a Convention 145

45 The First Meeting 146

46 The Rules Committee 148

47 Recommendations 152

48 Playing the Fly Rule 153

49 On Maintaining Standards 154

50 First Nine Matches 155

51 Challenges 158

52 Women at the Games 159

53 Papers Taking Note 160

54 The Changing Game 162

55 New Equipment 165

56 The Pennant 166

57 An Impediment? 168

Part 7 The great base ball match 1858

58 The Second Convention 171

59 The National Association 173

60 Another Rules Committee 175

61 A Symbol 178

62 Laying Plans 179

63 To Play or Not 183

64 The Day Approaches 184

65 The First Fashion Course Game 186

66 Aftermath of the Game 189

67 Getting Even 191

68 Rubber Match 192

69 Praise and Complaints 196

70 Season's Play 197

Part 8 An Ill Wind 1859-1860

71 Beginning of the End 203

72 Going National 206

73 Sunday Play 209

74 Chadwick's Guides 211

75 Out-of-Control Cranks 212

76 The Spectre of Professionalism 214

77 To Be Competitive 216

78 On Running a Club 218

79 Other Clubs to the Forefront 223

80 Of Bounders and Flys 224

81 Banning Entertainments 228

82 A New Park 229

83 Rule Changes 231

Part 9 Playing through The war 1861-1865

84 Things Unravel 235

85 Membership-Matters 240

86 Maintaining Control 242

87 Creeping Commercialism 244

88 How They Played 249

89 Other Clubs' Matches:? 252

90 Down to a Few 254

Part 10 Commercialism 1866-1870

91 Base Ball Mania 259

92 Paid to Play 260

93 To Distinguish Between Amateur and Professional 262

94 All-Professional Clubs 264

95 A Question of Race 269

96 Leaving the Association 271

97 On Their Own 273

98 Dirty Dealings 276

99 Gate Money Principles 278

100 Difficult Times for Davis 281

101 Collapse of the Association 282

Part 11 Amateurs and Professionals 1871-1875

102 Red Stockings Reversal 285

103 All-Amateur Association 286

104 Blurring the Lines 295

105 The Professionals Regroup 299

106 Club Doings 304

107 Chicanery on the Field 313

108 Tinkering with the Rules 314

109 Availability of Goods 317

110 On Curvers and Long Throws 319

111 Celebrating Davis 321

Part 12 National league 1876-1879

112 A New Approach 329

113 Suspicions 331

114 Changes 333

115 Old-Timers 334

116 New Amateurs 337

117 And Then There Was One 338

Part 13 The End 1880-1882

118 Final Days 341

119 A Quiet End 346

Epilogue 349

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