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Old 06-30-2013, 11:05 AM
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Hen.ry Mos.es
 
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Default when did base ball become baseball..........

The developement of of a word in language rarely takes place in issolation - rather it evolves. While it is impossible to pin an exact date to when the words base and ball were united whether in common conversation or in print - I was wondering what them what reads book and newspaper accounts of the early game, ticket - schedule and broadside collectors, and them souls who like ephemera think would be a generalized date in which the two were brought together. Nothing important I know - but as I was looking thru some old paper I realized I didn't have an answer.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:03 PM
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Thanks Henry Ford blog...


There were, of course, many bat and ball games prior to our modern version, and they went by many names in both England and the U.S. (and elsewhere). Virtually all references to a game with “base” and “ball” in England, and almost all known 18th and early 19th century references in the U.S., refer to the game as “base-ball”. For example, the famous 1791 ban on game playing that threatened the windows of the Meeting House in Pittsfield, Mass., says “no person or inhabitant of said Town, shall be permitted to play at any game called Wicket, Cricket, Base-Ball, Bat-Ball, Football, Cat, Fives, or any other games played with Ball, within the Distance of eighty yards from said Meeting House.”
By the late 1830s and into the 1840s, “base ball” had begun to replace “base-ball.” Interestingly enough, the Knickerbocker rules of 1845 and the amendments from 1854 do not include either version of the word — they simply refer to “the playing rules for 1854″, etc. But the rules amended for 1857 do explicitly refer to “base ball.” Nothing other than simple changes in type-setting convention seems to have driven the change, as far as I can tell (as an analog, we no longer use “&c”, but instead use “etc.”, for no particular reason), and in many cases the decision on what form of the word to use seems not to have been made by the authors, but by the typesetters and their chosen convention.

Just for fun, the convention changed again (after “base-ball” had become “base ball”), and by the mid-late 19th century (late 1870s, early 1880s), the word in the U.S. had again become “base-ball”, and according to Dickson’s (no relation) Baseball Dictionary (a major source for much of this essay), in 1896 the U.S. Government Printing Office specified that the word should be spelled with a hyphen. Again, no reason for the change is given or evident.

However, by the time the U.S. Government took action (no surprise here), the field was shifting again, and The New York Times had explicitly changed its style guide away from “base-ball” to “baseball” in 1884. As always, no reason other than common usage is given.

Of course, these practices overlapped in time, and you can find the word “baseball” (combined, no hyphen) in print as early as 1858 (though not at all common, and actually as early as the 1830s – though that is believed to be a misprint). You can find “base ball” in some circles into the 1900s (again, not at all common). So there are periods of overlap, and some periods of pretty common usage, and 1867 is square in the middle of a period in which “base ball” was the common spelling. However, I don’t think that they ever got as worked up about it as we do today, in our efforts to be accurate. Yes, it was clearly “base ball” in 1867, but any person reading “base-ball” or “baseball” at that time would have known what was intended. In our efforts to highlight the game’s history, we emphasize the two-word spelling.




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Old 06-30-2013, 04:30 PM
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Default thanks for that

as an aside I went to high school about 13 miles from Pittsfield and was arrested circa 1968 for playing frisbee in a small park in Pittsfield located in the center of town. Mostly I visted on Saturday's to play pool in the local pool room..........
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:31 PM
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the author made reference to himself as not the same Dickson and I'm pretty sure the article didn't come from Henry Ford. Whose musings are they?
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Old 06-30-2013, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by 1880nonsports View Post
the author made reference to himself as not the same Dickson and I'm pretty sure the article didn't come from Henry Ford. Whose musings are they?

http://blog.thehenryford.org/2012/08...came-baseball/


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