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Original Issue

Ruling Power

Since 1938, when Alexander Joy Cartwright was inducted into the Hall of Fame, his plaque has referred to him as the "father of modern base ball." But a 159-year-old document, only recently made public and sold at auction last Sunday to an anonymous buyer for $3.26 million, suggests that Daniel Lucius (Doc) Adams is the game's true founding father. In 1857, Adams (above), a physician and former Knickerbocker player who was then the president of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, codified the rules of the game, including setting bases 90 feet apart and establishing nine innings per game and nine men per side. Cartwright had already moved west and become a fire chief in Honolulu by then. Adams does not yet have a plaque in Cooperstown, having narrowly fallen short of election in 2016. That is one bad call that will surely be overturned.