This marks the 500th time I’ve weighed in on some aspect of baseball. I wondered what to do for it. Should it be a retrospective (does that sound trendy, or what?)? Should it be a shout out to everyone who had the audacity to read some of my stuff, especially those who came back for a second dose? Not bad ideas, but I decided to give you a special treat to commemorate 500 times of sitting at a keyboard and handing out deathless prose.
Above is a picture of the 1862 reunion of the original Knickerbockers, one of the very first baseball clubs. By 1862 the club had changed membership greatly. A number of the original members moved away, others had left the club. Some of the members, as us old folk are wont to do, decided to hold a reunion in 1862. This “salt” picture (it’s an old photo technique) was one of the results. If you click on the picture, you can blow it up to see it better. Here’s a brief note about the 10 men in the picture, beginning on the back row at the left:
Duncan Fraser Curry–first President of the Knickerbockers, member of the original rules committee, and insurance man
Walter T. Avery–treasurer 1851-2, vice president 1861, civil engineer, and the last of the Knickerbockers (dying in 1904)
Henry Tiebout Anthony–ran one of the most successful photographic equipment supply firms in the county
Charles H. Birney–treasurer, and the man who scored the only Knickerbockers run in the “first” baseball game
William H. Tucker-first secretary of the club and member of the original rules committee.
Now the front row, again from left to right:
Charles Schuyler DeBost–was captain of the New York Club before moving to the Knickerbockers. He is evidence the Knicks were not the first baseball club
Daniel Lucius Adams–President, so-called inventor of the shortstop position, doctor, and President of the first baseball convention in 1857
James Whyte Davis–secretary 1854-6 and also a member of the New York Club
Ebenezer R. Dupignac, Jr.–vice president in 1855
Finley C. Niebuhr–President 1851-54.
There are several early members of the club missing from the picture. William Wheaton, an attorney and member of the original rules committee is not there. He had moved to California. Neither is Alexander J. Cartwright, the so-called author of the Knickerbocker Rules. He had moved to Hawaii. Here are pictures of both.
So there they are the men who stand at the very beginning of the sport. They are among the “fathers of baseball” (as are a number of other people) and now you know what they looked like. So enjoy this present in honor of my 500th blog post.