Letter: Origins of baseball lie in the 'Old Country'

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Sir: Amateur baseball grew primarily out of gentlemen's cricket clubs in the north-eastern US. Members switched to baseball, not for intellectual reasons, but because baseball happened to win out.

There is a reference to 'base ball' in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, which suggests that a primitive version was played here in the late 18th century. Perhaps baseball, rich in British bloodlines, had to go to America to grow up.

Yours sincerely,


London, W2

14 April