20 July 2013

Baseball Born (?) in Land of Loonies

America's national pastime is Canadian. The creation story — the one used to "prove" the game was not at all related to Britain's rounders — actually revolves around Beachville, Ont., not Cooperstown, N.Y.

That's the thesis of Chip Martin, reporter on city hall and other political games for the London (Ontario) Free Press, poses in his new book, Baseball's Creation Myth. Ne'er-do-wells named Ford and Graves who, based on circumstantial evidence cross paths in Denver, share a Beachville baseball story, which then jumps tracks to become part of the sales pitch of ballplayer turned sporting goods magnate A.G. Spalding as tries to sell more bats, balls and gloves as part of making the Clark family of Singer Sewing even richer through the building of  the Baseball Hall of Fame in Civil War general Abner Doubleday's old stomping ground — all a silly story in and of itself.

He told the The Toronto Sun he was hoping to build a bit more respect for baseball in the land of hockey ... and that he was a bit irked that the Ken Burns baseball documentary had given short shrift to the Canadian connection. Changing baseball to Canada's national pastime seems an unlikely happenstance, but, anyway, here's hoping ...

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