Cricket comeback

Because of what I used to do for a living and the kindness of the appropriate officials, I once had a wonderful private tour of Lord’s and the MCC. If I’m not the only person in Woodbury who knows who W.G. Grace was, the other guy cheated and was born over there. But I still can’t tell a googly (“It’s sort of like a screwball, but different”) from a silly mid-on (“Oh, never mind.”)

Anyway, there was an interesting, if stupidly titled, article in The New York Times the other day about the city’s Department of Education inaugurating cricket as its newest interscholastic sport. You can read the details if you’re interested.

It wasn’t actually until our Civil War that baseball outstripped cricket as the favorite bat and ball game over here. Before that, many teams playing baseball actually represented cricket clubs. The first fully and avowedly professional baseball team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, was managed by Harry Wright, whose father Sam had emigrated from Sheffield in the 1830s to be cricket pro at New York’s St. George Cricket Club. After the war, Harry was enticed to Cincinnati to be the pro at the Union Cricket Club. Harry and his younger brother George were certainly among the best cricketers in the US in the 1860s.

Baseball had the mojo, though, and the Wrights and almost everyone else converted to baseball during the late 1860s. But early baseball followed the cricket club pattern, and to this day baseball teams here are called clubs.

(I just looked at Wikipedia to check a few facts, and found one of my own articles listed as a reference. So I can certify this post as absolutely what I think is true.)

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