Thorn: Notes from the old baseball guides

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on May 18, 2020:

Just the other day I stumbled upon an old file in which I had gathered notes from my reading of the old, today ignored Base Ball Guides from 1860 to perhaps 1885. (Let me note that there was an earlier “guide” — The Base Ball Player’s Pocket Companion, published in Boston by Mayhew & Baker from 1859 through 1861.) While I am willing to share my notes verbatim upon request — handwritten, then typed up in WordStar on my CP/M Kaypro, later converted to Word— below I’ll winnow out some highlights that may be of interest to readers of Our Game. Where the notes are cryptic I have provided annotation or illustration.

I read the actual guides on microfilm, long before any were digitized, but you may peruse most of them online; see my friend Sean Lahman’s helpful index ( Let’s treat each decade separately; today let’s spin our way through the 1860s guides.

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Originally published: May 19, 2020. Last Updated: May 19, 2020.