|About SABR UK|
|Written by SABR UK Chapter|
|Thursday, 02 April 2009 20:38|
The UK chapter of SABR - also known as the Bobby Thomson chapter - is a group of people who are interested not only in baseball, but the history of baseball and especially as it relates to Britain. We're doing a great deal of research to crack open the idea that baseball is just a descendant of rounders: indeed, we've discovered that baseball is most likely the older and more venerable of the pair. The very first reference to baseball was in 1700 in England, and, almost a century later, Jane Austen mentioned it in one of her novels. Rounders, on the other hand, first appeared in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1856. We have more supporting evidence: read on...
We are also making inroads in discovering the rich and fascinating history of baseball in Britain, after it was returned to the land of its origin and/or ancestry with missionary zeal by players and enterpreneurs such as Albert Spalding. Baseball enjoyed a period of popularity and growth in the 1890s, with a professional league founded and a championship trophy offered. There are still remnants of that baseball renaissance in existence, such as the former Derby football ground. Still in use by the Derby reserve squad, it was originally built for baseball and is still known as the Baseball Ground.
The history of baseball in Britain is one of short periods of enthusiasm, promising starts and periods of growth, but with eventual fading of interest. The issues of why the game never really took hold over here is a question tied up with many other social and economic issues. In many ways it is not only the story of baseball, but the story of Britain, and the story of the differences between Britain and America. It's a fascinating story, and we're only just beginning to scratch the surface. Read on - we hope you'll find it as compelling as we do.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 02 April 2009 20:39|