As the title says, the all-American game of baseball may not be American after all. Turns out, this old ugly looking British guy could be the "father of baseball." The guy in the picture is William Bray and he's a British lawyer.
You might ask "Okay, so what? He invented baseball in America with the Torries during the American War for Independence, right?" Wrong! He was in England in 1755, several years before the American Revolution and almost 100 years before the first mention of baseball in America.
Julian Pooley, the manager of the Surrey History Centre, said Thursday he has authenticated a reference to baseball in a diary by English lawyer William Bray dating back to 1755—about 50 years before what was previously believed to have been the first known reference to what became the American pastime.
"I know his handwriting very well," Pooley told The Associated Press in a telephone interview, adding he believed the game wasn't very common at the time. "He printed it to show it was new to him. He doesn't mention baseball again. It was something that seemed special."
Bray wrote that he played the game with both men and women on the day after Easter, a traditional holiday in England.
I haven't been this shocked since I found out that half the patriotic American songs were actually British or other European songs put to American words.
Baseball, the great American sport, is an actual product of England and not just our inevitable and vast improvement over their silly sports of cricket and rounders? No offense my British friends.
I always thought that baseball was invented in 1846 in New Jersey, when Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York played against the New York Nine.
Here's a page from this guy's journal that supposedly is evidence of baseball in Britain:
"Easter Monday 31 March 1755
"Went to Stoke Ch. This morning. After Dinner Went to Miss Jeale's to play at Base Ball with her, the 3 Miss Whiteheads, Miss Billinghurst, Miss Molly Flutter, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Ford & H. Parsons & Jelly. Drank Tea and stayed till 8."
I don't know about you, but it's almost like the British are trying to discredit things that are considered "all-American." Once again, no offense my British friends. These British researchers and professors spent years trying to figure out if baseball was British.
How do we know that his "base ball" isn't some boring game like croquet (no offense to you croquet fans). Now I find out that the all-American game of baseball was really invented by an old lawyer guy who played it with probably old rich ladies with names like Whiteheads, Billinghurst, and Flutter. Not great names for my American sport.
I like names like Mantle, Ruth, Cobbs, and Jackson -tough guy names not womanly names. And I don't know, but it'd be hard to hit a small ball with a stick when a women is wearing a hoop skirt and a hat three feet tall.
Well, now that my American game of baseball is officially of British origin, I'm going to go off and pray that they won't find a football goalpost in Kent or a basketball hoop in London.