hist-games: Baseball ancestor?

Christian Joachim Hartmann lukian at Null.net
Thu Sep 17 09:06:23 PDT 1998

Dear Subscribers,

now for something completely different!
I was looking through a couple of old game almanacks, as
usual in search of new card games, but instead my attention
was drawn to an account of a 'bat-and-ball' game which upon
reading seems to have an astonishing similarity with base-ball.

The Almanack was published in Berlin by Julius Cäsar (sic!) to
the year of 1800.

The games is simply called 'the German ball-game" (das deutsche
Ballspiel) since it is the only ball-game described.

Now, I've got no knowledge of the history of sports, least of
baseball, but I wonder if anybody can place this account in the
proper order of the develpement of baseball.

The most obvious difference - to me - between this 'ball-game' and
baseball was that the former had only TWO bases.

* Which are the ancestors of baseball after all, and were early forms
  of it known in Germany?
* Does anybody know a history of baseball which mentions German sources 
  of the 18th/19th century?
* Are there any older sets of rules for baseball that I could compare
  to my text?

* And finally, are there better list or groups to ask this question and
  what would these be?

Thanks in advance for your answers,

**       Christian Joachim Hartmann 
**       lukian at Null.net
**       christian.hartmann at uni-duesseldorf.de

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