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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thorn: The Letters of Abner Graves

Worst Abner ever, until Shawn came along.

The following are the two letters submitted by Abner Graves in 1905 describing the purported invention of baseball by Abner Doubleday…. Graves’ original spelling and punctuation are largely preserved. These letters may be termed the invention of the invention of baseball, as prior to this date no one had imagined that the game sprung from the mind of a lone individual at a specific point in time.

Greg Franklin Posted: February 21, 2013 at 01:34 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, origins, primary sources

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:00 PM (#4373633)
When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.
   2. AndrewJ Posted: February 21, 2013 at 06:49 PM (#4373646)
It's entirely possible Doubleday was exposed to the New York rules for baseball while a cadet at West Point and introduced them to the Cooperstown kids while on leave. A five-year-old Graves then saw this and concluded, "Doubleday invented baseball."
   3. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 07:30 PM (#4373662)
AndrewJ, I think what is more likely is that it was the other, younger Abner Doubleday who showed the game to the local kids at Phinney's farm.

This is my cue to link this. A guy meticulously deconstructs family legends about ANOTHER Abner Doubleday (the general's grandfather), yet repeats the baseball legend at the end. There is a Doubleday Road in Columbia, Connecticut. Until I stumbled across that link, I had no idea that it was named after his relatives.
   4. AndrewJ Posted: February 21, 2013 at 08:31 PM (#4373681)
AndrewJ, I think what is more likely is that it was the other, younger Abner Doubleday who showed the game to the local kids at Phinney's farm.

That's also extremely probable.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: February 21, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4373729)
baseball was invented by Columbus, while looking for a shorter route to India--the quintessential Vespuccian game

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