William Cauldwell

  • Card series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
  • City: New York

William Pierce Cauldwell (1824-1907) was, per the New York Tribune’s obituary, “the father of Sunday journalism.” More significantly for baseball, Cauldwell was the first publisher to dedicate regular space and ink to the game of baseball as news (starting in 1853), while also serving as mentor to the “Father of Baseball,” Henry Chadwick, whom he hired in 1858 to report on the new “national pastime” – a phrase Cauldwell’s Sunday Mercury newspaper coined on December 5, 1856.

Cauldwell had begun as a typesetter in 1841 before becoming publisher of the Sunday Mercury in NYC. In 1853 he began covering the games between the Knickerbockers and Gothams, introducing a wide audience to this phenomenon of outdoor athletics. He charted its course, reporting on the exponential growth of clubs all over the country. In his summary of the game in 1860, Cauldwell’s column no longer was long enough to list all the teams. He noted that California had seen its first game played on Feb 22 of that year.

  • Cauldwell was active in politics, serving in the NY Senate and State Assembly as well as being a Supervisor of The Bronx before its annexation into NY City

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