First Rules of Base Ball.

SECTION 1. The bases shall be from "Home" to second base 42 paces; from first to third base 42 paces equidistant.

SECTION 2. The game to consist of 21 counts or aces, but at the conclusion an equal number of hands must be played.

SECTION 3. The ball must be pitched and not thrown for the bat.

SECTION 4. A ball knocked outside the range of the first or third base is foul.

SECTION 5. Three balls being struck at and missed, and the last one caught, is a hand out; if not caught, is considered fair, and the striker bound to run.

SECTION 6. A ball being struck or tipped, and caught either flying or on the first bound, is a hand out.

SECTION 7. A player, running the bases, shall be out, if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, as the runner is touched by it before he makes his base-it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to thrown at him.

SECTION 8. A player running, who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base, is a hand out.

SECTION 9. If two hands are already out, a player running home at the time a ball is struck, can not make an ace if the striker is caught out.

SECTION 10. Three hands out, all out.

SECTION 11. Players must take their strike in regular turn.

SECTION 12. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.

SECTION 13. A runner can not be put out in making one base, when a baulk is made by the pitcher.

SECTION 14. But one base allowed when the ball bounds out of the field when struck.

It will be at once perceptible to all who will contrast the above rules with those at present in force, that the game of Base Ball at that period, was not to be compared to the systematic and, to a certain extent, scientific game that is now such an attractive feature of our American sports and pastimes.

The example afforded by the successful operation of the Knickerbocker Club, was soon followed by the formation of others, and in the course of a few years the Gotham, Eagle, and Empire clubs successively appeared on the ball ground at Hoboken, as competitors for the enviable notoriety the Knickerbockers had by that time attained by means of the many interesting contest they had inaugurated. The Gotham Club was the next organization to that of the Knickerbocker, and the senior members of many of the clubs now in existence will doubtless long remember the interest and excitement attendant upon the prominent contests between these rival clubs. In fact, it is to this source, in connection with the many attractive features of the game itself, that we may mainly attribute its rapid progress in popularity; for it is well known that where a lively, well-contested, and exciting game is in progress, there will ever be found crowds of interested spectators. We at first designed giving the scores of several of the most prominent of these matches, but we find that such a course will require far more space than we propose occupying in a work like this, which is intended more as a compendium of Base Ball rather than a complete and comprehensive work on the subject. We, therefore, continue our brief reference to the points of special interest in the history of the game, by giving the date of organization of each club that now belong to the National Association, up to the time of the first Convention of Base-Ball Players, which was held in New York, in May, 1857.

ClubsOrganizedLocation of Ground
KnickerbockerSeptember, 1845Hoboken
EagleApril, 1852Hoboken
EmpireOctober 12, 1854Hoboken
ExcelsiorDecember 8, 1854South Brooklyn
PutnamMay, 1855Williamsburgh
NewarkMay 1, 1855Newark
BalticJune 4, 1855New York
EckfordJune 27, 1855Greenpoint
Union, July 17, 1855Morrisania
ContinentalOctober, 1855Williamsburgh
Atlantic1855Jamaica, L.I.
HarlemMarch, 1856New York
EnterpriseJune 28, 1856Bedford
AtlanticAugust 14, 1856Bedford
StarOctober, 1856South Brooklyn
Independent, January, 1857New York
LibertyMarch, 1857New Brunswick, N.J.
MetropolitanMarch 4, 1857New York
ChampionMarch 14, 1857New York
HamiltonMarch 23, 1957Brooklyn
St. NicholasApril 28, 1857Hoboken

The Rules: 1864 National Association of Base-Ball Players Continued Continued.

The Rules of the Game: A Compilation of the Rules of Baseball 1845–1900 Continued.