Cartwright, Alexander, Jr.

Cartwright, Alexander (Joy), Jr.

(1820–92) baseball pioneer; born in New York City. A bank teller, onetime bookstore-stationery owner, and volunteer fireman, in the early 1840s he joined other young men in New York City in playing an early form of baseball. In the 20th century, he would be credited with "inventing" baseball, including such regulations as 9 players to a team and bases 90 feet apart; what is certain is that in September 1845 his Knickerbocker Base Ball Club drew up the first rules for what would eventually evolve into the modern game of baseball. In 1849, at the news of the gold finds in California, he traveled overland to San Francisco, but almost immediately sailed to Hawaii, where he spent the rest of his life, prospering as a businessman and introducing baseball to the inhabitants. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.