An even earlier reference?
Posted by Carolyn B on December 29, 1997 at 13:12:29:
In response to BaseBall is my favourite sport, written by Cassia on December 28, 1997 at 13:35:14
] ] Ok, to make up for my "ACC" faux pas down the page, I can report that the use of "base ball" in the third paragraph of Ch 1 in NA is the earliest reference to base ball in the Oxford English Dictionary (according to the notes in my copy).
] ] Was it used earlier than that in America, does anyone know?
] Nope. Although American baseball purist will insist she was referring to a different game entirely.
Panati's Browser's Book of Beginnings (1984), which we should take with a grain of salt since he doesn't have footnotes for us to check his info, mentions a 1744 woodcut in A Pretty Little Pocket-Book depicting the British children's game "rounders" and referring to it as "base-ball," but points out this is a very different game from what was introduced to the US in the 1840s. Panati also mentions the later Northanger Abbey reference.
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