It seems that Jane Austen was not only a world-class writer, but she was able to predict the future as well. According to a new book, "Can We Have Our Balls Back", by Julian Norridge, Jane wrote about baseball over 40 years before it was officially invented. I didn't know anyone still believed in the Abner Doubleday myth, but I guess if it proves a point, so be it.
One of her books contains the passage:
"It was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, base-ball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books."He also refers to an German book which:
devoted seven pages to the rules of "Englischer Baseball",According to Mr Norridge,:
"There's no doubt it was being played in Britain in the late 18th century, and equally no doubt that it travelled to America."and
the name base-ball or Base Ball was common across much of southern England, while it might have been called different names elsewhere.And where is the conspiracy theory and why is America considered the home of baseball? Because:
its British roots were ignored by Victorian-era sports tycoon Albert Spalding, who was determined to prove its American heritage.So it seems there is definitive proof that baseball was invented in England. So? Who cares? Just like dentistry, the English didn't do anything with it and we perfected it. So if they want to claim they invented it, let them. When they can beat us in a series using the best players both countries can offer, then they can brag all they want.
Mr Norridge said: "He got fed up with the first really well known baseball journalist, a British-born chap called Henry Chadwick, who kept saying the game was based on rounders.
Until then, they should really quit all the anti-American baseball bashing, just claim the game without all the drama, and get over it.