Antedatings of "Baseball"

Fred Shapiro fred.shapiro at YALE.EDU
Mon Jan 26 21:49:05 UTC 2004

This is not as sensational a posting as it might initially appear, as it
is already well known that "baseball" appeared in the 1744 edition of the
first book listed below, but here are antedatings of "baseball" from
Eighteenth Century Collections Online:

baseball (OED c1815)

1760 _A little pretty pocket-book, intended for the instruction and
amusement of little Master Tommy, and pretty Miss Polly_ (unpaginated)
BASE-BALL.  The _Ball_ once struck off, Away flies the _Boy_ To the next
destin'd Post, and then Home with Joy.

1799 Cassandra Cooke _Battleridge_ I. 2  "Ah!" says he, "no more cricket,
no more base-ball, they are sending me to Geneva."

Fred Shapiro

Fred R. Shapiro                             Editor
Associate Librarian for Collections and     YALE DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
  Access and Lecturer in Legal Research     Yale University Press,
Yale Law School                             forthcoming
e-mail: fred.shapiro at     

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