For the last two or three evenings the Plaza has been filled with full grown persons engaged very industriously in the game known as ‘town ball.’ The amusement is very innocent and healthful . . . . The scenes are extremely interesting and amusing.”
“Public Play Ground,” Alta California, January 14, 1852. Submitted by Angus McFarland. In the prior year [see item #1851.2] the game at the Plaza had been called base ball in two news accounts, and town ball in none that we now have. On June 11, 2007, John Thorn reported a similar CA find: “A game of “town ball” which was had on the Plaza during the week, reminded us of other days and other scenes. California Dispatch, January 2, 1852. Angus adds – email of 1/16/2008 – that this appears to be the last SF-area mention of base ball or town ball until 1859.
“Yesterday, quite a number of boys were arrested by the police for ball playing and other similar practices in the public streets . . . . [Three were nabbed] for playing ball in front of the church, corner of Butler and Court streets, during divine service. They were fined $2.50 each this morning.” Two others were fined for the same offense