Among the many “firsts” New Jersey can claim, one of my favorites is the first recorded, organized baseball game was played in Hoboken.

According to hobokenbaseball.com, the first game was played on June 19, 1846 at the Elysian Fields, featuring the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. The game was played under what was known as the “Cartwright rules,” rules propagated by Alexander Joy Cartwright, who umpired the game.

So, can you say that Hoboken is the “Birthplace of Baseball?? No, you can’t. Why? Because Cooperstown, New York trademarked the phrase, even though details corroborating the claim that Abner Doubleday invented the game there are sketchy. The “New York rules” they played under were very similar to today’s game, including the three out inning. Those rules spread throughout the Civil War, giving a measure of standardization to the game. The New York teams tired of schlepping to Hoboken and eventually built their own fields, and the last professional game was played there in 1873. The Elysian Fields no longer exist, but there is a monument commemorating the first baseball “match.”

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