Although its origins are a mystery, baseball likely evolved from an older English game called rounders. There were a number of regional variations but, in 1845, the New York Knickerbockers wrote the rules of the modern game. By the 1850s, the Knickerbocker rules were used throughout New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. During the Civil War, soldiers from across the Union played ball and created a unified version of the game. But baseball wasn’t just for players, spectators enjoyed it too. Elmirans bought their first baseball tickets for a game between the Erastus Ransom Alerts and soldiers from the local garrison in 1866. Throughout the 1860s and 1870s, Chemung County fans paid to watch semi-pro teams from across the Twin Tiers play in a regional league.
|local baseball in the 1860s|
To learn more about the history of baseball in Chemung County come see our new exhibit from June 22 through the end of September 2013.