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Henry Chadwick

Henry Chadwick (October 5, 1824, Exeter, England - April 20, 1908, Brooklyn, New York) was a baseball statistician and historian.

Born in England, and raised on cricket, Chadwick was one of the prime movers in the rise of baseball to its unprecedented popularity at the turn of the 20th century. A keen amateur statistician and professional writer, he helped sculpt the public perception of the game, as well as providing the basis for the records of team's and player's achievements.

Chadwick edited The Beadle Baseball Player, the first baseball guide on public sale, as well as the Spalding and Reach annual guides for a number of years and in this capacity promoted the game and influenced the then-infant discipline of sports journalism. He also served on baseball rules committees and influenced the game itself.

In 1867 he accompanied the National Base Ball Club of Washington D.C. on their inaugural national tour, as their official scorer, and in 1874 was instrumental in organising a similar tour of England, which included games of both baseball and cricket. In his role as journalist, he campaigned against the detrimental effects on the game of both alcohol and gambling. He was instrumental in the first demonstration of that the rotation imparted in the throwing could cause a ball to curve, which took place at Capitoline Park, Brooklyn. At Chadwick's instigation two stakes were placed 20ft apart in a line between the pitcher and batter's boxes. A pitcher named Fred Goldsmith threw a ball to the right of the first stake, and to the left of the second.

Despite a friendship with Albert Spalding, Chadwick was scornful of the attempts to have Abner Doubleday declared the inventor of the baseball. "He mains well", said Chadwick, "but he don't know".

He is credited with devising the baseball box score (which he adapted from the cricket box score) for reporting game events, and for devising such statistical measures as batting average and earned run average.

In 1909 a memorial was raised to him in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, naming him "The Father of Base Ball". For his contributions, he was inducted into the United States Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1938.

See also: Henry Chadwick Sample writing, Baseball statistics

External references: see Tygiel, Jules. Past Time.

Link to Henry Chadwick's page in the Baseball Hall of Fame website (http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/Chadwick_Henry.htm)



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