From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on December 1, 2014:
More than thirty years before a pair of brothers named Wright made aviation history, another Wright duo was instrumental in changing baseball from a social-club pastime to a professional game. Baseball’s Wright brothers were George and Harry, cricket players who saw the future in the American game.
A cricket book opens our story. It is Felix on the Bat, a classic cricket instructional manual written and illustrated by the great Kent and All-England batsman of the 1840s, “N. Felix,” which was the pen name for Nicholas Wanostrocht. A copy was presented to Samuel Wright, father of Harry and George in 1858, on his Benefit Day at the St. George Cricket Club, Elysian Fields, Hoboken, where the English-born Sam was the cricket professional and Harry and George two of the key players (Harry by 1854, George beginning in 1861). George was eleven at the time his father received the book, and it is not clear when Sam passed it on to George, who wrote on the flyleaf: “This book I prize very highly as it was given to me by my Father in the year 1865. Often I have viewed its contents when a boy looking forward to some day to play the game of cricket well. G.W.”
Read the full article here: http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2014/12/01/baseballs-wright-brothers-and-the-cincinnati-red-stockings/
- “June 14, 1870: The Atlantic Storm: Red Stockings suffer first defeat” by Greg Rhodes
- Read more articles from SABR’s Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century at the SABR Games Project
- Download your free copy of the SABR e-book, Inventing Baseball: The 100 Greatest Games of the 19th Century, edited by Bill Felber
Originally published: December 1, 2014. Last Updated: December 1, 2014.