Branch: A Yale presence in baseball’s beginnings

From Mark Alden Branch at the Yale Alumni Magazine on October 28, 2014, with mention of SABR member Marjorie Adams:

Whether you’re Giant or Royal, take a moment when you’re watching the World Series to give thanks to Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams, Yale Class of 1835. Never heard of him? You will, if Marjorie Adams has anything to do with it.

Marjorie Adams is Doc’s great-granddaughter (she is also the daughter of Daniel Putnam Adams ’29S and the granddaughter of Roger Cook Adams ’93S), and she and her sister Nancy Adams Downey have made it their mission to see that Doc is recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame as a pioneer of the game. By now most of us know that Abner Doubleday didn’t “invent” baseball, and many now say that Alexander Cartwright’s role has been exaggerated. But Cartwright has a plaque in the Hall of Fame, and the Hall’s very placement in Cooperstown, New York, is the result of the now-discredited myth of Doubleday’s having invented the game there in 1839.

“I’m not saying that Doc invented baseball,” says Marjorie Adams. “Nobody invented it. It goes back as far as the pyramids. But without Doc Adams, baseball would not have become as popular as it has.”

The son of a doctor, Daniel Lucius Adams grew up in New Hampshire and went to Amherst for two years before transferring to Yale for what his father thought would be “a more pious education.” His history with some form of baseball goes back at least to 1832, evidently; in that year, his younger sister wrote him a letter at Amherst. “I have not played with your bat and ball as you bid me,” she wrote. “I forget it every morning and indeed I have not seen it since you went away.” (So now we know not only that baseball goes back that far, but that being uninterested in baseball does, too.)

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 29, 2014. Last Updated: October 29, 2014.