Pittsfield uncovers earliest written reference to game

Updated: May 11, 2004, 4:40 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- Officials and historians in this western Massachusetts city released a 213-year-old document Tuesday that they believe is the earliest written reference to baseball.

The evidence comes in a 1791 bylaw that aims to protect the windows in Pittsfield's new meeting house by prohibiting anyone from playing baseball within 80 yards of the building.

That bylaw would have been produced well before Abner Doubleday is said to have written the rules for the game in ...

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