19th Century Era Famous Firsts

The birth of baseball. The first rules. The first game including first hit, single, double, triple, home run - they are all here in print.

Some historians may differentiate between modern baseball and nineteenth century baseball, but they are still the same game and these 19th Century Era firsts are some of the most interesting and important in the history of our national pastime.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Baseball is a man maker." - Al Spalding

The 19th Century Era

1800 to 1900

1834 First book of instructions for baseball appears - ' The Book Of Sports '.
06-19-1846 First baseball game using Cartwright Rules is played.
1849 The Knickerbockers are the first team to wear an official uniform.
1857 The National Association of Baseball Clubs is the first league in baseball.
1860's Candy Cummings is credited for throwing the first curve ball.
05-04-1871 The National Association plays its first official game ever and professional baseball is officially born as the Cleveland Forest Citys 0 lose to the Fort Wayne Kekiongas 2.
1871 First batting averages are recorded starting with Boston and Cleveland.
1872 Oscar Bielaski is the first Polish player.
1875 Fred Thayer invents the first catcher's mask.
04-22-1876 National League plays its first game ever: Red Stockings 6 versus the Athletics 5.
04-22-1876 Davy Force is credited with the first assist.
04-22-1876 Jim O'Rourke is credited with the first hit and single.
04-22-1876 Tim McGinley is credited with the first run scored.
04-22-1876 Levi Meyerle is credited with the first double.
04-24-1876 Levi Meyerle is credited with the first triple.
05-02-1876 Ross Barnes hits the first home run.
05-06-1876 Bill Harbidge, playing for Hartford, is the first lefthanded catcher.
07-15-1876 George Bradley throws the first no-hitter in National League history.
09-19-1876 Candy Cummings is first to pitch and win two complete games in one day .
1877 Al Spalding makes the first major league baseball glove. Throughout its history, dozens of Hall of Fame and thousands of Major League players have worn Spalding fielding gloves.
1877 First schedule appears so fans will know when their club is playing.
1877 First rule appears stating ball must stay in fair territory to be a hit.
1878 Spalding (the company) publishes first "Official Rule Guide for Baseball".
05-08-1878 Paul Hines is credited as the first player ever to turn an unassisted triple play .
1879 Grays build the first safety net behind the catcher to protect the fans.
06-12-1880 Lee Richmond pitched the first perfect game in professional baseball, a 1-0 victory for Worcester over Cleveland four days before his graduation at Brown University .
06-17-1880 Five short dates after the first perfect game in history John Ward joined the "club" and 1880 became the first, and until 2010 only, season in Major League history with two perfect games .
09-10-1881 Roger Connor of Troy hits the first grand slam in National League history off Worcester's Lee Richmond.
1882 Paul Hines is the first player to wear sunglasses on the field.
1882 Pete Browning is the first player to have his bats custom made.
1883 Philadelphia Phillies have their first major league season.
04-26-1884 Joe Quinn is the first Australian born player to enter major league baseball.
05-01-1884 Moses Walker is the first black player to appear in a major league game.
1884 First postseason games occur - National League versus the American Association.
09-10-1885 Joe Harrington is the first player to hit a home run in his first at-bat .
1887 First rule defining the strike zone appears.
1888 First rule giving three strikes for an out appears.
08-10-1889 Mickey Welch , playing for New York, becomes the first pinch hitter in major league history - he strikes out.
1889 First rule giving four balls for a walk appears.
07-30-1890 On this date, twelve games were played marking the first (and so far only) time, in Major League history in which at least ten major league games were played with every game being won by the visiting team.
09-23-1890 Ed Cartwright of the St. Louis Browns became the first player to hit a grand slam and three-run homer in the same inning against the same pitcher ( Ed Green of the Philadelphia Athletics).
04-17-1892 The first Sunday game is played: Cincinnati 5 versus St. Louis 1.
05-14-1892 Tom Daly , playing for Brooklyn, becomes the first pinch hitter in major league history to get a hit - he hit a home run.
06-06-1892 Benjamin Harrison is the first President to attend a game.
1893 First rule moving the pitchers mound to 60 feet 6 inches appears.
07-18-1897 Cap Anson was the first player to achieve three-thousand hits and start The 3,000 Hits Club . His total was changed to 2,995 then restored more than a century later!
1897 Ed Abbaticchio is the first Italian player in the major leagues.
1898 First modern rules defining a balk and stolen base appear.
1898 First base stealing statistics are officially recorded.
1900 The first pentagon shaped home plate appears on the diamond.
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that the first single, double, triple, and home run took place during this century / set of famous firsts?

Trivia masters take note: The first black, Polish , Australian , and Italian players appeared in the Major Leagues during this era.

The first rules were set forth, the first uniforms were worn, and the first player joined the 3,000 Hits Club only to be removed a century later due to modern research then re-added due to public opinion.

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