The terrible whirlwind of Sunday afternoon continues to be an object of general comment and inquiry...A curious story is told of the force of the whirlwind in this direction. Some boys were playing base ball on the prairie near [Lafayette] Park when the storm came on, and when the rain commenced they ran under the trees for shelter. The storm bow burst upon them suddenly and one boy ten or twelve years of age was caught up by the whirling gusts, and carried over a fence some twenty or thirty yards distant, and landed upon the top of a shanty, without, however, sustaining serious injury.
-Missouri Republican, October 23, 1866
I'm always looking for a big story to tell. I'm always looking for big themes to explore. But in the end, baseball is really about kids playing with a ball in the dirt. It was that way with Henry Gratiot back in the 1790s. It was that way in 1866. And it's that way now.