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Baseball Mercury 40

Edition 40 contains an article in Typescript which in parts is difficult to read. Read it here or click the Header above to read the whole Issue.

ENGLISH BASEBALL ASSOCIATION

Secretary – Robert DeSilva. The information about 1985 was supplied by Mr. DeSilva. The historical material has been researched from newspapers by myself.

The E.B.A. began its 1985 season with eight senior teams, All Saints, Anfield Old Boys, Anfield Old Boys 2nd, Breckside, Electricity Supply, St. Margaret’s, Speke Old Boys, and Willow Bank.

Honours winners. League Championship – Anfield O.B.: E.B.A. Cup Willow Bank: Lewis Cup – Anfield O.B.: Len Simpson Memorial Cup Breckside. Anfield O.B. and dropped out before the season ended. The Youth League having become defunct it was decided to resurrect it. Posters were displayed in areas of Liverpool where English Baseball has a following; and sufficient numbers of lads came forward to permit of six teams being formed. Each of the senior teams with the exception of All Saints has adopted a youth team which will play under the name of its parent club.

The 60th. International Match was played in Liverpool, Wales beat England. The Annual Player of the Match Award, decided by John Norman, B.B.C.-T.V. Wales producer, went to Alan Harrison (Wales and Alexandra O.B.)

The oldest of the existing clubs is St. Mar6aret’s, formed in 1922; the youngest is Willow Bank, founded 1984.

Schools baseball in Liverpool began in 1909. In that season 11 teams competed in two leagues. League I was won by Northcote Road Council School. League II ended in a tie between Granby Street Council School and St. Saviour’s, Everton. In a playoff game, Granby Street beat St. Saviour’s, and then went on to beat Northcote Road for the Liverpool Championship.

There was also schools baseball in Warrington for quite a number of years. In 1931, the E.B.A. had a women’s section, this contained six teams; Guard of Honour, Cowley, Evans, BootIe Olympic, Clarence, and Crystal. The title, E.B.A., dates from the spring of 1892, when The National Rounders Association (no connection with the present body bearing that name), decided that in consequence of major rule changes made just prior to the 1890 season, the name rounders had become somewhat misleading; and therefore changed its title to The English Baseball Association. It also decided that its game was to be known as “English baseball”. The latter description was used for only a few weeks in Liverpool, and was not revived until John Moores launched the American game in Liverpool in 1933. This, by the way was, not the first introduction of the American code into Liverpool; the earlier efforts had all been short-lived.

The term “English Baseball” was used in Gloucester for some years,but appears never to have been used in South Wales.

The evolution of the game can be traced back to the Duke of Edinburgh Rounders & Quoits Club, this club publicised a game that it played in Newsham Park, Liverpool in 1815. As a result of press attention several other clubs appeared. For a number of years fairly rapid development took place both in rules and club numbers. In 1815/16 teams had nine players, and a runner had to make a circuit of the bases to score a run. Each team had three innings. The three innings rule survived until it was scrapped in 1892.

In 1811 teams went to ten players. The present number of eleven players a team dates from about 1880, as does the system of scoring a run for each base reached before the runner comes to a halt.

In 1881 The Rounders Association was formed, Mr. Howe was the secretary. In 1885 the title was changed to the National Rounders Association, Mr. W.H. Hivey was secretary, and Mr. Howe was treasurer.

The present two innings a team rule was introduced in 1892. It is ironic that the major rule changes made in 18~O, and the change of title in 1892, came about in the belief that such changes would help to popularise the game. The National Rounders Association had at least 99 teams playing in Liverpool in 1889, whereas English baseball has never had more than 38 teams. This figure relates to 1932, when a rival body The English Baseball Union was formed, and the E.B.A. and E.B.U. mustered 38 teams between them. In that year there were also about 80 School teams in Liverpool.

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