Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 37.djvu/671

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A LITTLE BOYS' GAME WITH A BALL.

"draw-base" the game kept on until one team swallowed up the other. I always heard this game called "ante-over." It was usually played by the small boys and the girls, the latter catching the ball in their aprons. The point was to get around the house and hit some of the other side before they knew the ball had been caught. The bulls and bears of Wall Street make a similar use of monopolized information.

Retaining the bases, and the division into teams or sides, the game of "bull-pen" went away beyond the last two in complexity and interest. It was one of our great games, and the largest boys delighted in it. It furnishes us a step in evolution which we can partly illustrate by a diagram. In the games of draw-base and ante-over there are two parallel bases, thus: PSM V37 D671 Paralles gates in a game of draw-base and ante-over.jpg

The players all stand on bases, and they all stand on an equality. There is no specialization of duties or privileges. In bull-pen the two bases are subdivided into half as many as there are players, and they are arranged into the circumference of a ring, as shown below.

One player stands on each base. These are the winners of the last preceding game—the "ins." The bases are positions of honor. The outs are a disorganized rabble, roaming about inside the ring. Here is differentiation as Well as division. Here is a plain case of evolution.

As in ante-over, the ball must be caught by some player before PSM V37 D671 Players arranged into the circumference of a ring.jpg he can hit anybody with it—unless he has just been hit himself. In fact, it is not "hot" at the beginning of the game until it has passed three times around the bases and been caught each time at every base. After that, any baseman who catches it may throw at anybody inside the ring, who, if hit, must get the ball, and, without going outside the ring, must try to hit some baseman. The basemen have the privilege of running as far away as they please in order to avoid being hit.

In one respect the two sides stand on an equality. The player who misses, or whose ball is caught by the enemy, is out, and excluded from the rest of the inning. If the basemen are all out