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Cartwright, Alexander Joy

Cartwright, Alexander Joy, 1820–92, American baseball player, b. New York City. He worked as a bank teller and a bookseller, and was a volunteer firefighter with the Knickerbocker Fire Engine Company. In the early 1840s he helped found the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. Cartwright became the team's secretary (1846) and its vice president (1847–48). He has been credited with participating in the establishment of many of the modern rules of baseball, including the diamond shape of the field and the designation of fair and foul areas, but the true nature of his contribution is unclear. In 1849 he left for the California goldfields, then moved to Hawaii, where he served as Honolulu's fire chief and helped found the Honolulu Library (1879). He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.

See H. Peterson, The Man Who Invented Baseball (1973); J. Martin, Live All You Can (2009); M. Nucciarone, Alexander Cartwright (2009).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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