Hey everybody, Opening Day was last Thursday but that seemed a little early for a baseball post so I waited until today. I was in Green-Wood Cemetery this past weekend and came across a few very special figures from baseball history.
It is now recognized that Union General Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball. This was total fabrication. Indeed, he probably knew nothing about the game. No one person invented baseball; it was inspired by cricket and rounders and evolved independently in different locations throughout the country in the decades before the Civil War. Still, there is one person who probably did more to institutionalize the game than anyone else: Henry Chadwick. Chadwick ironically enough was an Englishman, who came to the United States as a young man and settled in Brooklyn. What is so interesting about Chadwick is that he encompassed both the rational and literary aspects of the game. He was a numbers crunching statistician who also cared about the written word. For starters he invented the box score and wrote the first hard cover monograph ever written about the National Pastime, The Game of Baseball, in 1868. Base hit, left on base, and chin music are just a few of the terms this Englishman added to the American lexicon.
Chadwick and his wife rest here.
The baseballs are not put of the monument but were left by visitors.
I love the base paths around the headstone. Chadwick died in 1908 and the monument was dedicated a year later.
The bases are made of granite. The belt buckle is a great detail.
The precursor to the Brooklyn Dodgers started play as a minor league team in 1883, the same year the Great Bridge opened. The team eventually joined the National League of course. Charles Ebbets bought the team outright in 1902. His team moved into Ebbets Field in 1913. Ebbets was one of many ballparks built in the decade after the first World Series in 1903. These include Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field (1909); Washington’s Griffith Stadium (1911); Fenway Park, Tiger Stadium, and Crosley Field (1912); and Wrigley Field (1914). The Dodgers played in Ebbets Field through the 1957 season, after which they moved to Los Angeles.
I’m so glad baseball is back. Enjoy your spring.