Vintage Baseball Game, courtesy of 19th Century Baseball.
Massachusetts and New York have had a baseball rivalry for over 150 years. In fact during the Civil War, regiments from the two states would play each other during their down times on the battle field. Massachusetts had its own set of rules and New York played the “Knickerbocker Game,” which is the precedent to modern baseball.
Tomorrow at the CPL’s Living History of the Civil War, members of the recreated Massachusetts 22nd Volunteer Infantry will play a “Massachusetts” game. During the Civil War, the original 22nd MVI held several games against New York regiments. Here are a few that forecast the future Boston/New York rivalry, courtesy of the recreated 22nd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry:
22nd Massachusetts vs. 13th New York Infantry
April 3, 1862
“No opportunity was lost for drill, and every day it was regimental or brigade. Those who were absent without leave got knapsack-drill. Fast Day (at home) April 3, there was no drill, and twelve of our enlisted men challenged an equal number from the Thirteenth New York, to a game of base-ball, Massachusetts game. We beat the New-Yorkers, 34 to 10.”
From: Henry Wilson’s Regiment: History of the 22nd Massachusetts Infantry, John L. Parker; pp 79-80.
22nd Massachusetts vs. 3rd New York Cavalry
February 2, 1864
“Played Base Ball nearly all day and experienced a ‘Chapter of Accidents”. Got a severe blow with ball in the face, and a finger almost broken; and quit on having a collision with a man who knocked me down and made me “see stars” by striking his chin under mine – both were moving swiftly and look up at the ball high in the air.”
From the diary of H.E. Randell, Co. L, 3rd Regiment of the New York Cavalry.