"The suggestion that America's Game might have originated somewhere besides America so 'inflamed passions and patriotism,' writes David Block, that the idea still burns us. . . . Block has produced a deliciously researched feast that lays this controversy to rest. . . . Block has assembled such a rich pile of evidence for the game's European origins that one might wonder why there ever was a controversy. . . . Once an American reader gets past the disappointment of discovering baseball's deep European roots, Block's book is a perfect delight. He has unearthed magnificent medieval manuscripts . . . That show that baseball is just the latest in a very long line of stick-and-ball games."
"Given North American baseball fans' nearly inexhaustible appetite for the arcana of their favourite sport, astonishingly few scholars have ever undertaken the detailed historical and anthropological research to find out where the game actually began. . . . Now, through painstaking bibliographic and archival research, on display in his extensive appendices, Block has established . . . the true forerunner of American baseball. . . . By pushing beyond baseball's reputed origins in an English children's game, David Block has discovered the game's true origins in an even older English game."