Who is the Real Father of Baseball?

Who is the Real Father of Baseball?

Joined: October 19th, 2004, 12:02 am

December 18th, 2007, 9:04 pm #1

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 13th, 2004, 5:18 am

December 18th, 2007, 9:32 pm #2

I won't argue with you Barry as I've no doubt you know more about the early game than I do, but didn't Cartwright lay down most of the dimensions of the game? I gotta think that the guy who came up with 90 ft between bases and nine guys to a side is the "father of baseball".

Maybe we could call Wright the father of Professional baseball?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 19th, 2004, 12:02 am

December 18th, 2007, 10:33 pm #3

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
There is no question that the contribution of the Knickerbocker BBC was significant. What is less clear is Cartwright's role. He may have been integral in organizing the club, but it is now believed that others had a bigger part in refining many of the rules of the game. We just aren't sure.

And Cartwright headed west in 1849, and his days of playing competitive ball were basically behind him.

Yes, Wright was the father of professional baseball, but his contributions to the game in total were greater than Cartwright's...I think.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 5th, 2005, 3:51 pm

December 18th, 2007, 10:50 pm #4

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
The problem with calling Harry Wright the father of baseball is that the game was basically developed by the time Wright began playing. Yes, Wright did a lot toward bringing professionalism out in the open and toward developing the first professional league. But that had little if anything to do with the rules by which the game was played. As to who had the most to do with those rules, my vote would be the Knickerbockers because they codified the precise rules under which the game was to be played. While perhaps one could argue that every rule they adopted had at one time been seen before, but it was the precise combination and publication of these "existant" individual rules that became baseball as we know it today. As to which rule was the most significant, in my view it was the rule codifying fair and foul territory. That allowed baseball to become a spectator sport, which was the engine behind its explosive growth.

So if we're now talking about the Knickerbockers as being the most important force behind the development of the game, which Knickerbocker was most instrumental to the organization of the Club and the development of the Knickerbocker rules? While reasonable people can differ on this one, certainly Cartwight would be on anyone's short list of candidates. And certainly Chadwick and Wright would not. So among Wright, Chadwick and Cartwright, my vote would be Cartwright.

EDITED to add that if the Veterans Committee wanted to find a more constructive use of their time, they might spend less time looking at what the likes of Bowie Kuhn ever did and more toward some of the contributions of some of the original Knickerbockers (e.g., Adams, Curry, Tucker, Wheaton).
Last edited by benjulmag on December 18th, 2007, 10:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 13th, 2004, 5:18 am

December 18th, 2007, 10:53 pm #5

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
I think you can be the "father" of something and still have less contribution to the overall history.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 19th, 2004, 12:02 am

December 18th, 2007, 11:07 pm #6

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
Corey- I half agree with you.

The contribution of the Knickerbocker BBC, as the sum of its members, was monumental. But which members were most instrumental? Doc Adams? Will Wheaton? Duncan Curry? or was it actually Cartwright himself?

Rob Lifson just emailed me a link to an article written by John Thorn, and his basic premise is that Cartwright's contribution to the game is vastly overrated.

I do agree Wright should more aptly be called the Father of the Professional Game, since he is considerably younger than the other two. But I question exactly what role Cartwright had during his brief tenure with the club (1845-49).

Edited to add while I was typing you added something important, too.
Last edited by barrysloate on December 18th, 2007, 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 13th, 2004, 5:18 am

December 18th, 2007, 11:26 pm #7

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
When was the term "Cartwright rules" first used? and by Whom?
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 5th, 2005, 3:51 pm

December 18th, 2007, 11:31 pm #8

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
A point worth mentioning is that just because the Knickerbockers did not formally organize until 1845, that does not mean that they did not play baseball together before then. Logically, they had to. It's hard to fathom that those guys met one day and organized a baseball club the next. Almost certainly they had been playing together for some time. So I don't think its entirely accurate to describe Cartwright's association as being only four years.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: December 13th, 2004, 5:18 am

December 18th, 2007, 11:45 pm #9

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
Here is a good article dispelling some of the myths surrounding Cartwright.. Much of this is a surprise to me, but I have to say that I've not studied Cartwright and have in the past always accepted the Hall of Fame's stance on AJC.

http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v ... 05&bid=727
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: October 19th, 2004, 12:02 am

December 18th, 2007, 11:55 pm #10

Okay, here is a topic just for fun:

Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Harry Wright have all at one time been called "the Father of Baseball." But we can all have only one daddy. So who is best deserving that title?

I think it is Harry Wright. Wright was a player starting in the late 1850's; in 1869 he formed the first professional baseball team, which changed the face of the game forever; when the National Association was formed, he managed the finest franchise in the league and won four championships (1872-75); when the National League was formed he managed Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia for nearly twenty years; and he copiously kept acccurate records of nearly every aspect of the professional game, best illustrated in the yearly scorebooks he preserved for close to fifteen years.

Any other differing opinions?
Corey- I think you are right. If I remember correctly, they started meeting several times a week in Murray Hill around 1842, but I think their activities were largely disorganized. They decided at some point that finding some competitive sport to play would be more worthwhile. So clearly by the time they codified the first set of rules on September 23, 1845, they had to have been already playing baseball for months.

But it was during that trial period that they determined the rules of baseball as they were known to that point were insufficient. My theory, and others too, feel it may have been more of a joint effort and not solely the invention of Alexander Cartwright.
Quote
Like
Share