Comments: Doubting Doubleday

It's funny you bring this up about Doubleday. Just a few weeks ago this subject came up for me.

I've always remembered Abner Doubleday from my grade school days. In fact, I think I even wrote a paper (probably more like a paragraph or two) in 3rd or 4th grade on him.

Lately I've become a bit of a Civil War junkie, and while watching Gettysburg for the umpteenth time, I realized that on the DVD, one of the extras was an old Gettysburg film clip done in the sixties, something we may have seen in 3rd or 4th grade on film day in the auditorium.

They mentioned Doubleday in the older short film (not the Turner movie). He was a Major General, and took command of Reynold's troops after he was shot. They mentioned his credit for "inventing" baseball. This caught my attention not about the baseball, but because I never realized he was in the Civil War. Michael Sharra's book I don't think even mentions Doubleday, nor does he show up in the movie.

So I started to research him on the Internet, and sure enough, I learn that he wasn't even in Cooperstown when he was supposed to have invented baseball, and to top it off, it is now believed he never even mentioned baseball.

So what does this say for the sorry state of 1970's gradeschool textbooks and historical inaccuracies?

Posted by Duane at May 17, 2004 10:21 PM