February 20, 2013 by ussportsfanuk
If you mention Henry Chadwick to sports fans, in particular baseball in the USA then many would recognise the name. They may also be able to tell you that he is the only sports writer inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, is considered a pioneer of the sport we know today and was once called the “Father of Baseball” by Teddy Roosevelt.
As well as writing about the sport of baseball in publications, he is credited for developing many of the statistics systems still used today such as batting average and earned run average as well as creating the box score that modern ones are similar to and using the letter ‘K’ to show strike outs, again something that is used in the present day. He was also keen to help turn baseball into a national sport in the United States.
Despite his love of the ‘National Pastime’ of the USA and his undoubted contribution to it’s future success, Henry Chadwick was not actually American. He was born in the city of Exeter in England in 1824, before moving to Brooklyn in 1837. If you asked sports fans about him in England then people would most likely have no idea who he was, or about his influence on one of the major US sports.
There are some signs however that Henry Chadwick is beginning to get some of the recognition he deserves in the land of his birth, at least amongst those involved in Britsih Baseball. There has been mention of his story amongst British Baseball historians and there is now a baseball team, the Exeter Spitfires, in his home city who plan to name their new home field Chadwick Field in his honour. His story is also detailed on their team website http://www.exeterspitfires.co.uk .
Hopefully, through the work of all those involved in British Baseball and the success of his ‘local’ team, the name Henry Chadwick will begin to become more recognised in his home land.