Image from Glimpses Into Baseball History
As many of our readers are not familiar with the game, we append a description of it, written by our friend Cory O’Lanus, a warm admirer of the game:
“The game is a great invention. It is easily understood. All you have to do is just keep your eye on the ball.
It is all about a ball.
Image from Rob L’s Baseball Memorabilia
They also use a bat. The bat is a club built on the model of the club Barnum killed Capt. Cook with.
This is the reason why the organization is called a club.
One fellow takes a club and stands on a line, and another stands in front and fires the ball at him.
The chap with a club hits back.
The ball flies in another direction.
The first fellow drops the club as though he was scared, and runs like a pickpocket with an M.P. after him.
Several fellows run after the ball; somebody catches it and fires it at somebody else, when the chap who had the club stops running.
Another fellow then takes the club and the same man, who is called “pitcher,” pitches on him, fires the ball at him, when he hits back, knocks the ball, drops his club and cuts his stick for the first base.
Image from Civil War, Washington, D.C.
Half a dozen fellows out on picket duty scramble for the ball.
One reliable B.B. is posted behind the club man, in case the club man missed the ball, to see that it don’t go by and hit the Umpire.
When one side goes out the other side goes in, and when both sides are out it is called innings.
It is quite an intelligent game, depending entirely on the use of your legs. The first principle of the game is running.
When you are “in” you run away from the ball; when you are “out” you run after it.
It is splendid exercise; it keeps you so warm; consequently always played in the summer time.”
The Hillsdale Standard (Hillsdale, Michigan) May 15, 1866