Join Our Mailing List

Regimental Quartermaster on Facebook Regimental Quartermaster on twitter Regimental Quartermaster on twitter

  Home > Field Gear >

Baseball Bat-Period Reproduction
Baseball Bat-Period Reproduction

Our Price: $55.00

Product Code: BAS-002

Baseball Bat-Period Reproduction

Are you looking for something to wile away the time while you're at camp during Winter Encampment or in-between battles? If so, look no further.
Our bat is an extremely high quality reproduction of the baseball bat used during the mid-1800s (unless you use a rail tie like President Lincoln).

As per the 1860 Beadle's Rules: "
Sec. 2.- The bat must be round, and must not exceed two and a half inches in diameter in the thickest part. It must be made of wood, and may be of any length to suit the striker."

Depending on who you talk to, Abner Doubleday did or didn’t invent baseball in 1839. He did fire the first Northern shot of the Civil War and commanded the 1st Corp at the Battle of Gettysburg after Lancaster, PA General John Reynolds was killed at the beginning of the battle. Some people credit the creation of baseball to Alexander Cartwright in 1845 when he refined the rules and created the New York Knickerbockers baseball Club and had the first recorded game in 1846. This was the same year Walt Whitman wrote, “I see great things in baseball. It’s our game, the American game”.

In 1861 at the start of the war, an amateur team made up of members of the 71st New York Regiment defeated the Washington Nationals baseball club by a score of 41 to 13. When the 71st New York later returned to the man the defenses of Washington in 1862, the teams played a rematch, which the Nationals won 28 to 13. Unfortunately, the victory came in part because some of the 71st's best athletes had been killed at Bull Run only weeks after their first game. One of the biggest attended sporting events of the nineteenth century occurred on Christmas in 1862 when the 165th New York Volunteer Regiment (Zouaves) played at Hilton Head, South Carolina with more than 40,000 troops looking on. The Zouaves' opponent was a team composed of men selected from other Union regiments. Interestingly, A.G. Mills, who would later become the president of the National League, participated in the game.

The President, Abraham Lincoln, learned and loved the game prior to his election campaign in 1860. A popular newspaper even published a political cartoon showing him batting against his opponents in his campaign. During the Civil war he even had a baseball field constructed on the White House lawn. There are stories such as he was late for a war council meeting and said, "They will just have to wait. It is almost my turn at bat".

The Civil War did something unique. Rather than minimizing a sport, it expanded baseball and set up a scenario that would make the game explode throughout the country and quickly make it a professional business. Remember, just prior to the war baseball was fairly confined to the New York and surrounding area. During the war there were long periods of encampments waiting for the next battle. Soldiers drilled and drilled and became bored resulting in low morale. The New Yorkers started teaching their comrades from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Michigan, Ohio and other northern states the game of baseball. They loved it and played as often as they could. Generals actually sent reports saying promote baseball activities in your camps. It promotes good health and keeps the mind off of the war. It is good if all ranks play together. Every encampment and most of the Companies had their own one piece baseball pattern. They would get a walnut and start wrapping it with yarn until the cut horsehide would fit around it tightly. Then they would sew it up and have their baseball for the games. Oak limbs were cut and carved for bats. If your company was lucky, professionally made bats from Cooperstown, NY were shipped with your supplies. Gloves were not used until the 20th century.

So how did the southern soldiers learn the game of baseball? Well, there were 160 prisoner of war camps. Not all of them presented the horrors of Elmira and Andersonville. Many prisoners learned and played the game in prison. It became popular to have games between Northern and Southern teams and the games were very competitive. The game was so loved it even expanded to the battlefront. George Putman, a Union soldier fighting in Texas wrote home saying, “We were playing baseball near the front lines after a break in our skirmish. Suddenly there was a scattering of fire, which three outfielders caught the brunt: the centerfielder was hit and captured. The left and right field managed to get back to our lines. The attack was repelled, but we had not only lost our centerfielder, but the only ball we had in Alexander, Texas"

Share your knowledge of this product with other customers... Be the first to write a review

Browse for more products in the same category as this item:

Field Gear