2014 NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium

NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
John Jay College of Criminal Justice
524 W. 59th St. (10th-11th Aves.)
New York, NY

Both baseball and non-baseball historians of the 19th century will present a day-long interdisciplinary symposium intended to illuminate New York City’s indelible contributions to the origins, growth, spread, and institutionalization of the game as we know it today, and how, in turn New York baseball of the era, impacted the lives of 19th-century New Yorkers and Americans beyond.

To help derive a greater understanding of what is known and what is not known about 19th-century baseball in and around New York City, SABR’s Nineteenth Century and Origins Committees have established the inaugural NYC 19th Century Baseball Interdisciplinary Symposium on Saturday, November 15, 2014, to bring together a rare assembly of both leading baseball historians and experts on 19th-century New York City and 19th-century life.

The all-day program of panel discussions and research presentations will cover the last six decades of the 19th century, which will be divided between baseball’s Pre-Professional Era (1840s-1870) in the morning and its Professional Era (1871-1900) in the afternoon. The $95.00 registration fee ($45.00 for students with currently valid College IDs) will include a comprehensive packet of symposium handout materials, a continental breakfast service, and a full hot buffet luncheon with a keynote address by NYC historian, author, and curator, Steven H. Jaffe (see below).

There will also be an optional post-symposium gathering immediately following the day’s program at a nearby restaurant (food and beverage are individual pay).

The interdisciplinary program will feature baseball historians, authors and researchers, including: Major League Baseball Official Historian John Thorn; William Ryczek; Tom Gilbert; George Thompson; Robert Bailey; David Dyte; William Lamb; David Nemec; Donald Jensen; Ralph Carhart; and David Krell, among others.

An exclusive “interview” by Gary O’Maxfield of NYC baseball pioneer Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams (1814-1899) will be provided by his great-granddaughter and “Doc” Adams historian, Marjorie Adams.

Three dedicated and highly regarded non-baseball historians, whose devotion to their respective studies go well beyond the letters following their names, will be joining this program as guest faculty. They are:

  • Keynote Speaker Dr. Steven H. Jaffe, historian, author and curator, currently the guest curator of the exhibition “Activist New York” at the Museum of the City of New York and author of New York at War: Four Centuries of Combat, Fear, and Intrigue in Gotham (Basic Books, 2012) and Who Were the Founding Fathers? Two Hundred Years of Reinventing American History (Henry Holt, 1996).
  • Dr. Ann Fabian, who will present on “Gambling in 19th Century America”. Dr. Fabian is Distinguished Professor of History and American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the author of Card Sharps, Dream Books & Bucket Shops: Gambling in Nineteenth-Century America (Cornell University Press, 1991; paperback, Routledge, 1999).
  • Dr. David Hochfelder will present on “How the Telegraph Helped Make Baseball the National Pastime”. Dr. Hochfelder is Associate Professor of History at University of Albany and author of The Telegraph in America: A History (Baltimore and London: John Hopkins University Press, 2012).

Registration: Conference registration is $95 per person or $45 for students with a valid College ID; the symposium is open to both SABR members and to the general public. See Registration Form for fees and payment information. To download the application for your passport to 19th-century New York City and a front-row seat to baseball being played there, please click here to download the registration form and information packet (PDF). Registration will continue until November 7, 2014 or until registration is announced “closed” due to space constraints.

Schedule: A complete schedule for the 2014 symposium is available in the information packet.

Hotel: The starting point for the optional (and free) Madison Square Walking Tour on Sunday is the Broadway Plaza Hotel, Broadway and W. 27th St. (approx 2 miles from John Jay). There are a limited number of rooms available at our group rates: $229 per night plus taxes for a 1-bed, room maximum occupancy 2 people; and $249 per night plus taxes for a 2-bed room, maximum occupancy 4 people (a $60 discount off current market rates). There are a limited number of 1- and 2-bed rooms available. To register or to check availability, contact the hotel’s GM, Scott Walker by email: swalker@broadwayplazahotel.com or at his direct phone, (212) 679-7685. The hotel’s phone and website are (212) 679-7665 or www.broadwayplazahotel.com. Mention the 19cBB Symposium. Other hotels within a 15-minute walk of John Jay College are listed in the information packet.

Questions: Please contact Peter Mancuso or John Zinn.

Originally published: September 16, 2014. Last Updated: September 16, 2014.