While the Doubleday myth has been debunked, it is still debated by baseball historians about the degree of involvement Alexander Cartwright had with the origins of the game. He was a founding member of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club and was a part of the club’s rules committee in 1848. It is claimed by some that he had a significant role in the drafting of the early rules of the sport. The “Knickerbocker Rules” have also at times been called the “Cartwright Rules.” Information given in a letter written by his grandson Bruce Cartwright Jr. led Hall of Fame officials to name him as one of “Fathers of Baseball.” But, research in recent years has led historians to believe that this may be more myth than fact. Cartwright, however, has an important symbolic purpose in the Hall, being the first member to ever pick up a baseball bat and serving as the sole reminder that baseball existed before it became a professional enterprise in 1870. Cartwright remains a revered figure in Hawaiian baseball (and firefighting) history, where he lived for the last 42 years of his life.
He was elected to Cooperstown as a “pioneer” of the game via a Veteran’s Committee ballot in 1938.
April 13, 2017