Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams is one of the early pioneers of baseball. The origins of baseball have always been a little murky and shrouded in mystery. Everyone has heard the now discredited myth of Abner Doubleday, a distinguished Civil War general, being the father of baseball. Baseball has not been quick to acknowledge the true founding fathers of the game. We hope to do our part to help see that Doc Adams finally receives his LONG overdue recognition.

Marjorie Adams, great-granddaughter of Doc Adams, will be delivering a research presentation, “Doc Adams: A Founding Father of Baseball” at SABR 47 on June 29, 2017 in New York City

On April 24, 2016, the “Laws of Base Ball” authored by Doc Adams sold at auction for $3,263,246, setting a new record for the highest priced baseball document.

Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams has been selected as SABR’s Overlooked 19th Century Baseball Legend for 2014 (click here for SABR’s press release)!
August 2, 2014 – Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams selected SABR’s 2014 19th Century Overlooked Baseball Legend
Check out Cathy’s interview of Marjorie Adams on the occasion of her great-grandfather, Doc Adams being named on the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 2016 Pre-integration Era Committee ballot in “Doc Adams (Hall Of Fame Candidate) On Pre-Integration Era Hall Of Fame Ballot” on MLBReports.com
Here’s Cathy’s and my article “Daniel Lucius “Doc” Adams Selected As SABR’s 19th Century Overlooked Baseball Legend” on MLBReports.com.
Please show your support by signing our petition.

Some highlights of Doc Adams contributions to the game:

  1. He started playing base ball in 1839. He played for both the New York Base Ball Club and the New York Knickerbockers (1845 – 1862). The latter of which was one of the first organized baseball teams which played under a set of rules similar to the game today.
  2. He served as the New York Knickerbocker president for 6 years and on the board, in other roles, for another 6 years.
  3. Credited with creating the position of shortstop and was the first player to occupy that position.
  4. He personally made baseballs and oversaw the making of bats, not only for the Knickerbockers but also for other New York City-based clubs in an effort to standardize the game’s equipment.
  5. The New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club awarded him an honorary membership and passed a resolution naming him the “Nestor of Ball Players“.
  6. He headed the Committee to Revise the Constitution and By-Laws of the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP):
  • The distance between bases was fixed at 90 feet and pitcher’s base to home at 45 feet.
  • The length of games was established at 9 innings.
  • He supported nine-man baseball teams.
  • He advocated the fly-game, that is, not to allow first-bound catches

For more information on Doc, why he belongs in the Hall of Fame and our petition, please check out “Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams – Long Overlooked Baseball Pioneer” on MLBReports.com.

See Doc’s gravesite in New Haven, CT.

The Friends of Vintage Base Ball honored him with Doc Adams Day in 2011. Read the Hartford Courant’s article. Check out some photos of the event.

Here’s a short motivational video for Doc.

For more information on Doc Adams, please visit Doc Adams Base Ball.


Doc Adams is the 2nd from the left in the front Row.

John Thorn & the Adams Sisters
2014 Frederick Ivor-Campbell 19th Century Base Ball Conference in Cooperstown with Nancy A. Downey, Marjorie Adams, John Thorn, and Cathy Ratzenberger
At a Coltsville Vintage Base Ball Game with Marjorie Adams (Doc’s great-granddaughter)


Support for Doc Adams is being observed not just in the USA (47 states plus the District of Columbia) but globally (Canada, Italy, New South Wales, England, Scotland, Poland, Australia) as well.

Distribution of Petition Signatures (as of 3/9/2021)