THE FIRST NOVEL FEATURING THE GAME OF BASEBALL: FIRST EDITION OF THE FAIRPORT NINE, 1880, SCARCE IN ORIGINAL CLOTH
(BASEBALL) BROOKS, Noah. The Fairport Nine. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1880. Octavo, original pictorial yellow cloth. $2200.
First edition of the first novel to feature the game of baseball, preceding by four years the same author's 1884 novel Our Baseball Club, "the first novel devoted exclusively to baseball." Set in the 1840s, The Fairport Nine also includes an African American player, Sam Black. A very nice copy in pictorial cloth.
Noah Brooks' 1884 novel Our Base Ball Club is "the first novel devoted exclusively to baseball" (Grobani 12-2c). The Fairport Nine precedes that novel by four years, and while it is not "devoted exclusively" to the sport, the "First and last chapters [are] devoted to accounts of games, remainder of book to the adventures of the Fairport Boys" (Grobani). Set in the 1840s, the first and final chapters describe games between the Fairport Nine and a team made up of working class youth; the main character, Billy Hetherington, is best friends with Sam Black, who is African American and also the team's star left fielder. Six pages of publisher's advertisements at rear. Grobani 12-2a.
Text clean, a few minor marks to cloth, spine gently toned, gilt still bright. Extremely good in the original cloth. Scarce and desirable.