Friday, 22 June 2012

Without pitching on the pitch

I've read that cricket was the main summer sport in the US until the Civil War, unsurprising when you consider where many of the immigrants came from. Lacrosse could stake a claim, of course, and probably could be said to be the more indigenous game - any Canadians / Native Americans out there?

 Of course, the soldiers suffered from a lack of cricket pitches (ok not their main cause of suffering) and used their bats (wider cricket-style ones by then, not curved ones) to play the more two-dimensional English game known as rounders. [Joke alert / Irony Warning Scheme has proved ineffective] Now in Jane Austen's baseball and indeed in modern rounders, baseball, softball etc the ball doesn't need a pitch to pitch on and so in the 1860s soldiers could pitch up and play on any rough piece of ground. Are you with me?

Comments welcomed: there are similarities - innings (singular and plural) but also inning (singular) in AmE; 22 yards / 66 feet pitch but only 20 yards / 60 feet approximately from batter to pitcher / bowler; cricket / baseball caps / helmets; hard ball (roughly same size & weight); umpires (?); the Art of Fielding (not the novelist) etc. Special language of both sports?

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