The oldest Dutch baseball rules are 200 years old

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The oldest baseball rules in the Netherlands date back nearly 200 years. Historian and mathematical linguist Jan Luetzen found a description from 1822.

There are many stories about the history of baseball. According to the Americans, they invented the sport themselves under the name baseball, but their ancestors with similar rules were known much longer, also in Holland. Even with proof on paper, too.

toysIn 1822 a children’s playbook for all seasons appeared translated from German. This included the rules of the game of running ball – not baseball or baseball yet. Two teams with guards, shooters, and fishermen used a court demarcated with four posts. Jan Luitzen found this book via Google Books, and it contains the oldest description of baseball in the Dutch language area.

The first party, “opens the book,” which is determined by lot, has the exclusive right to recoil, until forfeited by a fall. The handball player, nowadays hitter, had to hit the ball from the “pitcher”. After hitting the ball, the goalkeeper had to run in a round where the opponents tried to catch the ball or hit the goalkeeper with the ball. When the guard came out, the teams switched places. The 1822 book said: “The merry boys played this game with great pleasure, and showed their good teacher the warmest gratitude.”

Obviously we are dealing here with a primitive form of baseball – the oldest form we know from the Dutch language area. Since the rules are translated from German, it is likely that primitive baseball in Germany is older than ours.

english ball gameIn the decades that followed, this baseball pioneer developed in our country, because in 1845 the rules of the game were once again put on paper – in this case in the Boys’ Book! What will you play? A guide for boys in their joint exercises and GTN Suringar games. As in 1822, there was no talk of baseball or baseball, but talk of the English ball game. Let’s take a look at the rules back then.

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In the above game, players are divided into two equal teams, and fate decides who will take precedence. Four stones or other marks are placed about 36 to 60 feet apart, such as A, B, C, and D, and a fifth is placed on the post.

In our time we call this:

A: Home / batter plate

B: rule one

A: The second rule

D: The third rule

Mail: from werpheuvel

What is surprising here is that the rules run in a clockwise direction, while the runner in the present time is running counterclockwise. Something has changed here since 1845.

Going back to 1845: “Of the group not playing first, a person called a highway worker was placed in e. He gently tossed the ball into a, where one side placed himself.

In short: the bowler throws, although the ball is not thrown hard, as it is now. This was the case in 1869: “The thrower, belonging to the servants, stands 5 or 6 steps from the striker, and throws this ball into a gentle arc.”

Going back to 1845: ‘This man is now trying to hit the ball that the road driver throws at him with the ball stick. If he misses the ball, or if one of the others catches it, who are all scattered, he resigns, and whoever follows him takes his place.

The big difference in our time is that the hitter only has one chance to hit the ball here.

On the other hand, if he hits the ball, he throws the ball stick out of his hand and runs to B, or if he can, to C, D. Or even from there to a.

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The principle of operation on its territory was already described in 1845.

“While running, the highway captain or any other person on his side who has found the ball seeks to hit him, and if he is injured, while going from a to b, or b to c, or c to d, or from running there to a, he resigns.

The player is out if the opponent touches him with the ball. It has not yet been confirmed that the runner will exit when touching the ball.

On the other hand, if he reaches a safe place without hitting, say, B or C, then when the ball is thrown again by a bandit to his successor in A, who has taken the stick of the ball, he tries to get to the nearest place or place next. While he is doing this, the bee, who has the ball stick in his hand (for he who misses the ball, which the thief throws at him, and thus resigns, must give the stick to someone else at once), hits the ball, to b or, if he can, to c And the third begins. So when they all have a turn, the opponent takes their place.

Teams don’t swap three times but after everyone has a turn. Nothing was said about scoring, but in 1845 it was clear that it had more to do with the game than with the sport. It wasn’t the winner that mattered, but playing together.

baseballAfter 1845, Dutch baseball continued to develop, although it was not a well known phenomenon. In 1869 it was written again in the book Spring in the Field or Entertaining Gymnastics and Play in the Open Air and in the Playroom, as well as Recreation with Light and Shadow. It was compiled by P. Beets and contains a few passages about “the game of free-space ball”, also known as “baseball”. This was the first time in the Netherlands that this activity was called baseball.

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“This game is played a lot in England,” Bates wrote. He did not seem to know that these rules in rough form had already been published in a Dutch book about fifty years ago. Bates also did not mention that baseball was actually a well-known activity in the United States at the time.

Therefore, there is little continuity between the rules of 1822 and baseball today. It must have been played on a small circle in the 19th century, primarily as a game for boys, but it returned in the 20th century as a modern sport under the name baseball or baseball. However, this does not change the fact that the current rules of baseball have been known in our country for almost two centuries.

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