Page:A "Bawl" for American Cricket.djvu/12

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6
INTRODUCTORY.

the easy grasp of all, nor does it depend upon the standard of the play, but turns rather upon its equality.

The memories of the past, though dear to many, will not be used to bore those who look rather to the future. But a few words about the origin of the game we love, may prove interesting. Early in the century Englishmen were found playing their national game upon the beautiful meadows of Germantown. Young America, as quick then as now, to imitate a good thing, organized a Germantown Cricket Club, and played upon a field of the Belfield farm from 1840 to 1846. Those were the glorious days of underhand bowling, forward hits and single wicket. A stone roller borrowed from a neighboring garden smoothed the pasture, and almost the only recollection we retain of this primitive crease, is of two spots bare of grass, indicative of constant use. This club was the pioneer of cricket by Americans, and the forerunner of the present Germantown Cricket Club, which used the impliments left by the old club, to play its first games, and became the direct heir of both its name and property. But the Philadelphia Club, which organized a year before the Germantown, grew out of an organization known as the Union Cricket Club, which upheld the honor of Philadelphia Englishmen against New York Englishmen during the "Forties".

During this decade some University men organized a cricket club known as the Juniors, and played upon the Union ground. Matches were played and prize bats were offered by Dr. Mitchell, the father of Dr. S. Weir Mitchell, one of which is now in the possession of Wm. Rotch Wister, generally spoken of as the father of American Cricket, who won it by the handsome score of 44,