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Rounding the Bases: What We’re Reading

April 12, 2008

In terms of the Suquamish Tribe’s 10,000 year history, the sports are a footnote. But in terms of baseball’s relatively short history, the tribe has been part of the story almost since the game’s start in the early 1800s.

It’s believed that when white settlers landed on what are now Kitsap County shores in the 1850s in search of timber, they brought with them a game that natives took to quickly. Two photographs from the late 1800s — one in Tribal Council member Chuck Deam’s office, the other hanging in the tribe’s museum — show men holding what appear to be baseball bats.

Tribal Chairman Leonard Forsman, who played on a famed Suquamish softball team in 1984, said an early native game played on tide flats in areas like Indianola was probably similar to baseball or lacrosse.

“Baseball wasn’t a big jump for them,” he said.

  • A review of Peter Morris’s new history of the early organized game, But Didn’t We Have Fun?, found here.
  • The philosopher John Rawls understood baseball to be in perfect geometric equilibrium, though commenters disagree. Or as Alex Beam says, “When the goalie comes out of the crease, he’s fair game. And when the philosophy professor emerges from Emerson Hall heading for Fenway, we can argue back.”
  • Then again, maybe not: Heller’s “Joe” Baseball Glove Sofa.
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