“I WOULD AS SOON BE KILLED ON A BASEBALL FIELD AS ANYWHERE ELSE”
JOHNSON, Harry (“Steamboat”). Standing the Gaff. Nashville: Parthenon, (1935). Small octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. $1100.
First edition of the first book-length life of an umpire, illustrated with five photographs, inscribed, “Best Wishes to Jack Hessen from “Steamboat” Johnson, Umpire, Southern League.”
Johnson, who earned his nickname for having a “voice like a Mississippi River Steamboat”, began umpiring in 1909 and continued in the minor leagues for many years, including 28 in the Southern Association, encountering many of baseball’s greatest players along the way, including Ty Cobb and John McGraw. With seven leaves of advertisements bound at rear. Smith 14671.
Book fine, dust jacket with wear and toning to spine. A wonderful inscribed copy of a baseball classic in near-fine condition.