Neyer: Does this old-timer belong in the Hall of Fame?

From SABR member Rob Neyer at on November 21, 2014:

I regret that it took me so long to read John Thorn’s brilliant and seminal book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game. It’s brilliant, and seminal. The book’s been out for nearly four years now, and I count John among my friends. I should have read it immediately.

I’m glad it took me so long. Let me explain.

Alexander Cartwright, as you might know, is in Baseball’s Hall of Fame. According to his Cooperstown plaque, he was THE FATHER OF MODERN BASE BALL and a) set the bases 90 feet apart, b) established nine innings as the game length and nine players per side, and c) organized New York’s Knickerbocker club, which spread baseball to the Pacific Coast and even Hawai’i.

All of which might well merit inclusion in the Hall of Fame, if true. But little or none of it is true.

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Originally published: November 24, 2014. Last Updated: November 24, 2014.