America's Favorite Pastime in Full Swing


Laura EverlyPeanuts!  Get your Peanuts Here! Baseball, America’s favorite pastime is in full swing. Just for fun, I thought I would share some of the different terms used in base ball in the early years.  No, base ball wasn’t a typo, that is how it was spelled in the 1850’s.  Hurrah!

Base ball players were called ballist.  Before 1860, a batter was called striker or batsman.  The bats were known as ash, hickory or timber.  Pitchers threw the ball underhand.  The ballist would call the outs rather than the umpire.  If a ballist did question a call the umpire made the player would say judgement and an appeal was made.  When the player disagreed with the appeal it was called chafing.

worn baseball on grass
Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

In the 1850’s and 1860’s, the batsman would show the pitcher where he wanted the ball.  The striker had three choices of where he wanted the pitch to be: waist high, shoulder high or knee high. A corker was a hard-hit ball. In the 1850’s and early 1860’s, if the ball bounced once and then was caught by a ballist in the playing field, it was an out.

New York City claims the honor of being the home of base ball.  The New York Knickerbockers were the first organized club.  The top nine players, the starting nine players of each club were called artists.  The players that didn’t make the second team, but were still a part of the club were called muffins.

In 1857, the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed.  Fifteen teams were part of the National Association of Base Ball players.

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