Twenty-two baseball players from America visited England at the back end of the cricket season, 1874, their mission-it was semi-officially stated- being to give the English a practical insight into the workings of baseball. The Twenty-two comprised 11 members of the Boston (red stockings), and 11 of the Philadelphia Athletes (blue stockings), the two leading baseball clubs in the United States, where the game holds the same high and popular national position cricket does in England. The visitors' stay in this country was limited to one month. They quickly got to work, making their first appearance in flannel on an English ground on the 30th of July, at Edge-hill, the ground of the Liverpool Cricket Club. They were a finely-framed, powerful set of men, and, although baseball did not take the popular fancy here, the splendid long-distance throwing and truly magnificent out-fielding of the Americans at once won the full and heartily-expressed admiration of Englishmen, who frankly and freely acknowledged the Americans' superiority to the generality of English fielders.
Nine Bostone v. Nine Athletics played, with varying success, baseball matches on the Liverpool Club's cricket ground at Edgehill; on the Manchester Club's ground at Old Trafford; on the Marylebone Club's ground, Lord's; on Prince's ground, at Belgravia; on the Richmond Club's ground in the old Deer Park, Richmond; at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham; on the Surrey County Club's ground, The Oval; on the Yorkshire County ground, Sheffield; and at Dublin.
© John Wisden & Co