Surrey

Baseball: Blue plaque in Surrey marks world's first game

Plaque in Walton-on-Thames Image copyright @BaseballsHome

A blue plaque has been unveiled in Surrey to mark the world's first recorded baseball game.

The first documented game was played in 1749, in Ashley Park, Walton-on-Thames, on the estate belonging to the wife of Charles Sackville, Earl of Middlesex.

The Earl played in the match along with his friend, Frederick, Prince of Wales, who was the son of George II.

A demonstration baseball game marked the unveiling of the plaque at the Walton Cricket Club in Ashley Park.

Image copyright @MikeReadUK
Image caption Mike Read (left) with comedian Bobby Davro and his father Bill Nankeville

It was unveiled by comedian Bobby Davro and his father, double Olympian and world champion athlete, Bill Nankeville.

Mike Read, the former Radio 1 DJ and head of the British Plaque Trust, said the site was one of sporting history.

"We thought the Americans might take umbrage and get a bit shirty about it but they seemed to have embraced it enormously... and the fact that this game was played before America was even invented as a country has quite tickled them, I think.

"The Prince of Wales played in it, the Earl of Middlesex played in it, and in typical English [weather] it was played in atrocious conditions," he said.

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