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How Baseball Happened: Outrageous Lies Exposed! The True Story Revealed

April 19, 2021 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

A Shepaug Libraries Program

Hosted by the Gunn Museum

Please join us on Zoom for the illustrated presentation, “How Baseball Happened” with author and historian Thomas W. Gilbert, who will discuss the early days of baseball in America. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link for this free virtual program.

Click here to register.

There are several assumptions about the origin of baseball. You may have heard that Alexander Doubleday or Alexander Cartwright invented baseball; or that a club called the Knickerbockers played the first baseball game in 1846; that the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings were baseball’s first professional club; or perhaps that Cooperstown, NY or Hoboken, NJ were the birthplaces of baseball. None of these are true. In this fascinating lecture, Gilbert tells the real story of how baseball became America’s first national sport. Included is Washington, CT’s own remarkable place in baseball history with one of the earliest images of a baseball game in action: the Gunnery Reunion Game played on the Washington Green on August 4, 1869.


Thomas Gilbert is an expert Baseball Historian and prolific author who has written numerous books on baseball, including: Baseball and the Color Line, Playing First, and Roberto Clemente. John Thorn, Major League Baseball’s Official Historian writers, ” How Baseball Happened is a brilliant new approach to our game and its author tells a hundred stories you haven’t heard before.” He calls it “the next great book of baseball history.” Paul Dickson of the Wall Street Journal praises the book as “a delightful look at a young nation creating a pastime that was love from the first crack of the bat.”

Gilbert obtained his bachelor’s degree in classics and classical languages, literature, and linguistics at Yale University. He lives with his wife in Greenpoint in Brooklyn, NY. Like baseball’s amateur 19th-century forefathers, Tom plays ball on the weekend, socializes with firefighters, and is active in local politics.


April 19, 2021
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
Event Category:


Gunn Memorial Library
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