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Born in Hawaii, Äna Cartwright comes from an artistic and inventive family of Scottish, English, and German ancestry. She is a Naval Commander's daughter and the Great Great Granddaughter of Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. - the "Father of Modern Baseball."

   
   

Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. was born on April 17, 1820 in the city of New York. He was a member of the New York Knickerbockers Fire Fighting Brigade in 1842, and from 1843 until 1845 worked as a bank teller. After the bank burned down, Alexander and his brother (Alfred) opened a book and stationery store.

While working at the Knickerbockers' fire station, Alexander became involved in playing town ball (an early version of baseball) on a vacant lot in Manhattan - until 1845 when the lot was no longer available for their use. The group was forced to find another location, eventually settling-upon Elysian Field - across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New Jersey. They were charged $75 annually for rental of the ball field.

On September 23, 1845, Cartwright organized a ball club - named the "Knickerbockers", in honor of the fire station where he had worked. The formality of creating a club for the ball players necessitated a formal set of rules to which each member would adhere. Cartwright formalized a set of twenty rules for the Knickerbockers. The club rules included:

   
   
  • Making equal the distances between the bases
  • After three strikes the batter is out
  • Three outs to a team's inning
  • The addition of an umpire
  • The creation of fair and foul territory

It is likely that Cartwright picked some of his twenty rules based upon his previous experience in town ball play at Manhattan. The original rules of play at the vacant lot were not documented, so it cannot be said which of the twenty rules were of Cartwright's own invention. Most likely, his rules were based upon the Manhattan rules that he tweaked at his own personal discretion.

The formation of the Knickerbockers ball club across the Hudson River created a division in the group of Manhattan players. Several refused to cross the river on a ferry to play ball because they did not like the distance away from home. Those players stayed behind to form their own club: the "New York Nine."

The first baseball game between two different teams was played on June 19, 1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. The two teams - the "Knickerbockers" and the "New York Nine" played with Cartwright's twenty rules. The Knickerbockers lost this inaugural game 23-to-1, in four innings. Some say that Cartwright's team lost because his best players did not want to make the trip across the river. Cartwright was the umpire during this game, and fined one player six cents for cursing.

Over the next few years, the rules of baseball spread throughout the country. Baseball was fast becoming the preferred sport of American adults and was drawing spectators by the thousands. Cartwright's rules would soon become part of The National Association Baseball Players Rules in 1860. Over time, these Rules slowly evolved into today's formalized rules of baseball.

In 1849, at the apex of the California Gold Rush, Alexander Cartwright headed west in search of fortune. Along the way, he stopped and taught the game of baseball to all who were interested. Upon reaching California, he became ill with dysentery and decided that California was not for him.

Cartwright ended-up moving to Honolulu, Hawaii - where he introduced the island to the sport of baseball. During his life in Hawaii, AJC became one of the Builders of Hawaii as the Founder of the Honolulu Library, the Chamber of Commerce, the Volunteer Fire Department, Attorney-in-Fact of the Queen Emma Estates, Founder of Masonic Lodge 21, and Master Mason 33rd degree. There is a street named in his honor as well as a baseball park. At the age of 72, Mr. Baseball - Alexander Joy Cartwright, Jr. - died on July 12, 1892. He is buried in Hawaii.

   
                 
 
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