Though General Abner Doubleday is generally credited with inventing the game of baseball, the truth is that he was only a cadet at West Point and nowhere near Cooperstown in 1839, when and where it was supposedly created. Instead, if there is a single man who deserves any credit for its creation it would be English sportswriter Henry Chadwick.
Chadwick didn’t invent baseball either; even he would publicly cite baseball’s descent from an English game called rounders, which utilized a lot of the same rules. But Chadwick did help popularize the game, writing about it for newspapers and publishing the very first guide to baseball around 1859 or 1860. In the process he created the box score as a way of reporting game and player achievements, along with the concepts of batting average and earned run average.
Though born in England, Henry Chadwick lived in Brooklyn from the age of 12 until his death and was buried in Green-Wood Cemetery. His grave honors his contributions to “America’s pastime” with a bronze baseball diamond on its front, and a mitt and a catcher’s mask on the sides. Around the plot are four markers to represent “bases,” usually joined by a path. His wife, Jane Botts, is also buried there. Visitors often leave baseballs on the ground in memoriam.
Know Before You Go
The grave can be found by entering Green-Wood Cemetery from its 5th Avenue gate and heading left along Border Avenue.