175th Baseball Anniversary
Beachville's Baseball Beginnings
The group of men who gathered in a Beachville pasture June 4, 1838 to enjoy a friendly game of
baseball had little idea that they were making history. Their match was the first recorded baseball game
in North America. It occurred one year prior to the famous Cooperstown game. Beachville's claim is based
upon a Dr. Adam E. Ford's letter to "Sporting Life" magazine detailing the rules and recalling the names of
various players. The two teams playing that day were the Beachville Club and the Zorras. The Zorras hailed from
the north townships of Zorra and Oxford. The
site selected for the chief event of rejoicing was the field just behind Enoch Burdick's shops, (today near Beachville's
"The club was generally made of the best cedar, blocked out with an axe and finished on a shaving horse with a draw knife. A wagon spoke or any nice straight stick would do." - Dr. Ford
Dr. Adam E. Ford:
On April 26, 1886, Dr. Adam E. Ford, a physician who had grown up in Beachville and emigrated to Denver, Colorado, wrote a letter to "Sporting
Life" magazine describing the June 4, 1838 match. Ford's letter confirmed that the game had a long history in his community since: "certain rules for the game"
were insisted upon by two of the older "gray haired" players, "for it was the way they used to play when they were boys." The importance
of Ford's letter lies in the fact that it provides the first formally recorded account of baseball as a formal game.