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Baseball was 'invented in Britain'


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Baseball, America's treasured national sport, was first played in Britain, according to new evidence.

Local historians in Surrey have confirmed that baseball was played in the UK more than 20 years before American independence.

A diary that documents a game being played in Guildford in 1755 has been verified by Surrey History Centre.

William Bray, a Surrey diarist and historian from Shere, wrote about the game when he was still a teenager.

Julian Pooley, Surrey History Centre manager and William Bray expert, said the diary showed the game was a well-established sport in the 18th Century and was played by men and women.

Mr Pooley said: "He kept lots and lots of diaries that we have in the Surrey History Centre but last year a new one was discovered in a garden shed and it contains his diary from 1754 to 1755.

"It contains a reference to him playing baseball. What intrigued me is he is playing it with a load of young ladies."

The diary states they had tea after the game on Easter Monday and also played cricket.

Kevin Sullivan, the Washington Post's London correspondent and an avid Boston Red Sox fan, said: "It's a great American tradition to take things from other places and improve them. We've always known that baseball evolved - it wasn't invented like basketball.".

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