Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/83

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57
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

its name to "The Gotham Club," and at once became a strong rival of the Knickerbockers. For two years the Gothams sought in vain to defeat their metropolitan adversaries. On June 24th, 1852, however, they at last succeeded, but only at the end of a contest unprecedented up to that time. The game lasted sixteen innings, the score finally standing 21 to 16 in favor of the Gothams.

The game of Base Ball played at this time was known as "The New York Game." It was played according to the printed rules of the Knickerbocker Club, which were recognized throughout the Empire State as authority. In New England, however, another code for the playing of the game was in operation. It was a modification of the old "Town Ball," which had been played in different sections of the country for some years, and to which New England players had given the title of "Base Ball," which was clearly a misnomer, for it retained several of the features that had been eliminated by Doubleday's system, upon which the Knickerbocker rules were founded—notably the "soaking" of base runners with thrown balls.

About the time the Knickerbocker Club had been ten years in existence, the New York game had become quite generally established and widely accepted in New York and vicinity. Now, new clubs rapidly increased in numbers, and interest in the game became widespread.

Following the reorganization of the Gothams from the ranks of the Washingtons, in 1852, the Eagles, of New York, in 1854, began to soar. Next in order was the Empire Base Ball Club, in the fall of the same year, with Thomas G. Voorhis as President.