Happy Birthday, Doc Adams!!!
This morning I am getting ready to attend a celebration of a bicentennial. The last bicentennial I recall that I participated in any type of celebration was the 1976 celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I was nine and that year was the first World Series I remember watching. I bet my grandmother $1 that the Reds would beat the Yanks and I was correct. She promptly paid up.
Before Madison Bumgarner – before Derek Jeter – before Cal Ripken, Jr. – before Willie Stargell – before Mickey Mantle – before Hank Aaron – before Willie Mays – before Jackie Robinson – before Ted Williams – before Lefty Grove – before Kenesaw Mountain Landis – before Babe Ruth – before Ty Cobb – before Honus Wagner – before Ban Johnson – before John McGraw – before Billy Hamilton – before Clarence Williams – before Bid McPhee – before William Hulbert – before Bud Fowler – before Deacon White – before Albert Spalding – before Candy Cummings – before Dickey Pearce – before Jim Creighton – before roughly 99.9% of all people associated with organized baseball, there was Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams.
Doc Adams was a baseball pioneer. He participated in laying the foundation of what our national pastime is built on – and hardly anyone knows who he is and he has not been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Doc’s participation in baseball largely ended in 1862 when he left the famed Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, which was before the expansion of baseball after the end of the Civil War, widespread professionalism, and the formation of both the National Association and the National League. His contributions got lost in the excitement and growth of our beloved game.
He is responsible, directly and indirectly, for many aspects of the game that we know today. For example, he is credited with inventing the shortstop position. Shortstop has become pretty important since 1850. How about 90 feet between the bases? Yup, Doc played a huge part in establishing that set number. And there is much, much more…
Why am I writing this quickly, put together piece and talking about bicentennials?
Well, 200 years ago today, a baby was born. His name was Daniel Adams, he liked baseball and he should have a plaque in the gallery at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
While I am breaking bread with Doc’s great-granddaughter and his 21st century fans, please take a look at the links below and read more about the interesting life of Doc Adams.