By Harold Seymour, Dorothy Jane Mills
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Extra info for Baseball : The Early Years
Over a dozen clubs sent delegates to Smith's Hotel on Broome Street. They elected Dr. D. L. Adams of the Knickerbockers president, and set up a committee on playing rules. But when the 1857 season was slow to begin, the New York Clipper blamed the "old fogies" at the convention for ignoring the young clubs, and causing them to lose interest. The next year the presidents of the four oldest clubs—Knickerbockers, Gothams, Empires, and Eagles—called another convention of all regularly organized clubs in the metropolitan area, to meet at 298 Bowery, headquarters of the Gothams, on March 10, 1858.
One is that baseball's growth was halted by the Civil War. The other is that Southern troops learned the game from Northern prisoners, took it home in their knapsacks, and introduced it to the South. Baseball's spread was not stopped by the war; it was only temporarily slowed. To be sure, twenty-seven of the clubs enrolled in the National Association failed to send delegates to the 1860 convention because of the "peculiar state of the times," but their absence was more than offset by additional delegates representing new clubs from nineteen cities, bringing the total number of clubs represented to fiftythree, the highest yet.
It realized that a once-friendly custom had degenerated into petty rivalry between clubs to outdo each other in lavish entertainment. It was time that the clubs settled on common playing rules. While the Knickerbocker code was generally accepted, other ways of playing did not die out suddenly. The reader will recall that the Massachusetts game was still going strong in New England, highlighted by the Dedham Convention. Even town ball could be seen in many communities and it hung on for years to come.
Baseball : The Early Years by Harold Seymour, Dorothy Jane Mills