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The first children’s book includes the first known use of the word “Baseball”

Oct 16, 2011 By Abraham

From Wikipedia

A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, intended for the Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly with Two Letters from Jack the Giant Killer is the title of a 1744 children’s book by British publisher John Newbery. It is generally considered the first children’s book and consists of simple rhymes for each of the letters of the alphabet.

One poem in the book is entitled “Base-ball.” This is the first known instance of the word…

(images via Awesome Stories)


  1. TKyle says:

    I am pretty sure that poem is read during the “First Inning” of Ken Burns’s “Baseball” documentary. Awesome.

  2. Amy says:

    Pretty cool. Man, those titles back then though! Would take you five minutes just to figure out the name of the book!

  3. Annika says:

    The date of publication for the above book reads 1787; MDCCLXXXVII = 1787. That copy must have been a later edition of the 1744 book. Must have been very popular to still be in print 43 years later.

  4. paul farmer says:

    So Alexander Pope was writing his poetry in strict form, architects were designing the most decorative and Gothic buildings in England’s history, and all the while kids were playing bafeball. How cool is that!

  5. Tin says:

    Reminds me of that Vicar of Dibley episode where the church is being recorded for TV, and the charmingly ditzy verger Alice is reading such a text from the bible, culminating in ‘..and I shall be your..’ ‘SUCCOUR’ screams the Vicar, since the verger misread every previous s as an F.

  6. Pspaughtamus says:

    Intriguing, that poem is for the letter “K”, according to the title, yet that letter appears just once.

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