I’m sure not many baseball players nowadays would want to be referred to as a “striker,” for reasons obvious to contemporary rules of the game. If they aren’t dubbed a slugger, a powerhouse, or something else that boasts their skill, I’m sure they’d prefer simply “hitter.” But, when the name of the game was still two words, and you were the guy at bat: striker it was.
Want to the get the whole story on when the two worded base ball became baseball? Here’s some information from Wayne State University professor of industrial/organizational psychology and all-around base ball (and baseball!) expert Dr. Marcus Dickson.
Greenfield Village’s annual World Tournament of Historic Base Ball is right around the corner – Aug. 11-12. The tournament games are played with the same rules used in the World’s Base Ball Tournament hosted in Detroit in 1867. At that time, the game was really gaining momentum toward becoming the nation’s pastime.
The international event attracted teams from Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ontario. The tournament was played and scored by the rules published in Henry Chadwick’s book, Haney’s Base Ball Players Book of Reference. Chadwick, along with Albert G. Spalding, helped the game gain national prominence. This Pic-of-the-Month from 2003 shares a little of the game’s history, Chadwick and Spalding’s roles and that of Abner Doubleday.
Not having ever attended a game – even after many years of membership to The Henry Ford – my family and I quickly jumped on the Historic Base Ball bandwagon after going to the tournament last year. We all enjoyed the games, the atmosphere, the cheers and hat-waving “huzzahs,” and trying to figure out what was going on when a play stopped resembling the one-word game we know and love called baseball.
Since then, we’ve tried to catch a few games of Greenfield Village’s home teams – the Lah De Dahs and the Nationals – and again have plans to attend the tournament event the weekend of Aug. 11-12. This year, we’re armed with a little more knowledge having looked over some of the rules of the game and seen some of those rules at play.
In addition an abundance of base ball, tournament weekend includes many other fun activities, including Cricket and a base ball skills tests on the Village Green. The Luther Burbank Birthplace will house a base ball artifact display – complete with the actual championship trophy bat awarded to the winners of the first-class division at the World’s Base Ball Tournament in Detroit in 1867 – the Unknowns from Jackson, Mich. There will also be an original copy of Haney’s Base Ball Book of Reference for 1867 as well as other related artifacts from the Collections of The Henry Ford.
The Dodworth Saxhorn Band will perform during the games at Walnut Grove and Hawthorne Glade, which adds to the fun and spirit of the event.
There is an awards ceremony Sunday following the championship game. In addition to the $300 cash prize – the same amount awarded 1867 – and trophy for the championship team, awards go to finest catcher, fastest base runner, farthest distance traveled, reserve champion, finest captain, finest pitcher, and Henry Chadwick Sportsmanship Award
We’re looking forward to marveling at bare-handed catches and at different pitchers’ skills in getting the ball fairly to the striker. And I’m sure we’ll continue to scratching our heads as the umpire calls a ball a fair-foul.
This is a piece of video posted by a visitor during last year’s World Series of Historic Baseball. It’s a great example of some of the fun and excitement of the game. It’s the Old Golds of Saginaw playing the Forest City Base Ball Club.
Here’s another visitor-posted clip of a great bare-handed catch from the 2010 season – it’s Forest City playing the Regular Base Ball Club of Mt. Clemens.