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Major League Baseball Official Historian John Thorn is featuring 16 essays, which are included in the Special Origins Issue of the journal “Base Ball,” on the Our Game MLBlog right here.
Our Game, which launched in April, discusses the aims and efforts of the “Baseball Origins Committee,” while also embracing recent events of Baseball’s history. Please feel free to say hello there and join his commenters.
In March, Commissioner Bud Selig appointed Thorn to lead various research endeavors and special projects on behalf of MLB. In his first official task in this role, Thorn has been assigned to lead the “Baseball Origins Committee” to determine the facts of baseball’s beginnings and its evolution.
In the first of 16 articles, researcher and author David Block, a member of the “Baseball Origins Committee,” investigates one of baseball’s earliest periods in his article Polish Workers Play Ball at Jamestown, Va. Within the piece, Block discusses the origins of the game beginning, incredibly, in 1609, with a group of Polish craftsmen engaging in a bat and ball game, known as pilka palantowa, in front of a crowd of Native Americans. He explores the growth of “long ball” throughout history and searches to find the source of modern day American baseball.
In the coming weeks and months, Thorn’s MLBlog will continue to tell the story of how the game of baseball first emerged in America and how it became the American institution it is today through 15 additional essays by distinguished scholars.