Table of Contents

The Prehistories of Baseball


Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface 1
Introduction 5

Part I. Primal Beginnings

Drawing by Eric Sonnendrucker

Baseball showcases primal skills, such as throwing, hitting and running, once intricately linked to human survival. The layout of baseball fields and game strategies mimic war situations, reminiscent of early defensive stockades, forts and castles.


  1. Throwing 7
  2. Hitting 14
  3. Warfare, Games and Play 20

Part II. Roots and Foundations

Photo by Simon Hattinga Verschure via Unsplash.comPhoto by Linda Xu via Unsplash

Before the introduction of baseball in America, early ball games such as stool-ball, tut-ball and English baseball were documented in the Old World. These games were connected with older religious practices, abandoned sites and fields.

Precursor versions of baseball trace back to early Celtic, Druidic and other European religious practices. These practices and philosophies were based on sun-worship, where circular patterns and movements, sacrifices and offerings were made to the sun-god involving sacred groves, altars and mounds.


  1. Baseball Emerges 29
  2. European Roots and North American Expressions 52
  3. Religion, Culture, and Sports 63
  4. Grounded in Religion 68
  5. Shaped by Functional, Sacred and Communal Places 79
  6. Special Features of the Diamond and Game 94
  7. Early Language, Folklore and Myths 109
  8. Superstitions and Traditions 126

Part III. Modern Times

Photo by Frantzou Fleurine via

The sun plays a key role in each game as it did in the lives of our ancestors. Fans at the park also contribute to the game affecting the air, its moisture and temperature. In baseball, as in early religious services, we gather at these ‘cathedrals’ to be connected as members of a tribe.


  1. Baseball and the Sun 138
  2. Not Mere Observers but Participants 147
  3. Baseball Within Our Culture and Its Relevance Today 154

Conclusion 168


  1. A Brief Background of the Early Insular British and Related Peoples 173
  2. Socio- economic Conditions Affect Games 176
  3. Further Documented Descriptions of Rounders, Tut- ball and Stool- ball 179
  4. The Game of Prisoner’s Bars or Prison Base 184
  5. Roots of the Indo- European Peoples Found in Ancient India 185
  6. A Brief Background of the Early Germanic and Scandinavian Peoples 200

Chapter Notes 211

Bibliography 297

Index 309

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