in the Garden of Eden
Secret History of the Early Game
Louis Fenn Wadsworth, of whom no photograph has been found, is baseball's mystery man. He was accorded a bit part in the drama of the Special Commission’s findings, for A.G. Mills had the impression that it was he who had first brought a diagram of the playing field to the attention of the Knickerbockers. In his pursuit of more information Mills came up empty. Whether or not Wadsworth had anything to do with a diagram, it appears that we can credit to him baseball's institutions of nine innings to the completed game and nine men to the side. Only one week after the public issuance of Mills' report, the mysterious Mr. Wadsworth, whom he was never able to locate, died in a poorhouse in Plainfield, New Jersey. Depicted here is the census entry for "Louis E. Wadsworth" from 1900, listing him as an inmate of the Plainfield Industrial Home and correctly noting his age of 75 and his birth in May 1825 but erroneously stating New Jersey as his birthplace and that of his parents.