Elysian Fields

Hoboken, NJ


On June 19, 1846 the first
match game of baseball was
played here on the Elysian
Fields between the Knicker-
bockers and the New Yorks.
It is generally conceded that
until this time the game was
not seriously regarded.


In 1845, a man by the name of Alexander Cartwright wrote down the rules for a new game that resembled Cricket or the children's game Rounders. He called this game Base Ball. On June 19, 1846, he gathered a bunch of people and they all hoped the ferry from Manhattan to Hoboken's Elysian Fields. They left Manhattan due to the lack of open space. The New Yorks defeated the Kinckerbockers 23 to 1. Cartwright was the umpire.

Elysian Fields was a real field, a park with a large open lawn with many shade trees growing in the outfield. The picture below shows basepaths worn bare, but that is probably incorrect.

It is widely accepted that Cartwright was the inventor and Elysian Fields the site of the first game, not Abner Doubleday and Cooperstown, NY.

Update: A document, written in 1791, created a bylaw that prevents play of baseball, among other sports, within 80 yards of their new meeting house to protect their windows. This predates the Cartwright claim by 55 years.

2004-17 Paul Healey.