Much debate about the origin of baseball centered around Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general. Today baseball historians fully discount any contribution to the game by Doubleday, but as the Hall of Fame was getting ready to open, that debate was alive and well.
In the collection is this four-page testimony about Doubleday and one of the true pioneers of the game, Alexander Cartwright. This is a typed copy from February 10, 1936, the contents of which appeared in The New York Sun newspaper.
The letter purports Doubleday as, “…a man who did not care for or go into any outdoor sports.” The testimony also shows the impossibility of 1839 being the year Doubleday invented the game. “In 1839 during his plebe year Doubleday could not have been in Cooperstown as a cadet.”
It does state however that Doubleday might have invented the game in 1840, perhaps on furlough to Cooperstown. At that point, the future general had two years of descriptive geometry courses under his belt which might have, “…aided him in visualizing the proportions of a baseball diamond.”