America's National Game

Albert G. SPALDING

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“THE AMERICAN GAME PAR EXCELLENCE”: SPALDING’S HISTORY OF BASEBALL, INSCRIBED BY JOHN F. MORRILL OF THE BOSTON RED CAPS

SPALDING, Albert G. America’s National Game. Historic Facts Concerning the Beginning, Evolution, Development and Popularity of Base Ball. New York: American Sports Publishing Company, 1911. Thick octavo, original blue pictorial cloth gilt.

First edition of this essential baseball history, with over 100 full-page illustrations and four fold-out plates (two printed on both sides), including panoramic views of the Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Comiskey Park and Forbes Field. Inscribed by John Morrill, an early player with the Boston Red Caps: “Mr. E.B. Daily, Compliments of John F. Morrill, Nov 2nd 1911.” With a rain check ticket to the 60th anniversary National League game in June 1936 laid in.

“History of the game by one of the pioneer giants” (Grobani 6:9). Spalding transformed baseball “from its dual origins as either a gentlemen’s club or a rowdy working-class pastime into a popular, commercial, and professional sport… [His] newspaper obituaries across the nation recognized Spalding, who had been a part of nearly every major event in baseball’s history, as the father of what was now considered to be ‘America’s game” (ANB). During his career, Spalding also established a worldwide sporting goods empire and founded Spalding’s Official National League Base Ball Guide. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939. Illustrated with historic photographs and numerous sketches by noted cartoonist Homer C. Davenport. Without rare original dust jacket. Smith 691; 19585. Howes S804. Inscriber John Morrill “started playing baseball at the age of 19 with a local amateur team. He played every position on the diamond and was one of the best known all-around players in the game. He was one of the last barehanded catchers and made a reputation for himself in that position” (New York Times obituary). Morrill served as first baseman and manager of the Boston Nationals in 1883, the year the team won the pennant. He played for most of his career with the Boston Red Caps (now the Atlanta Braves). He is listed on the Boston roster on page 219 of this book.

Interior fine, rear inner hinge expertly reinforced, original cloth exceptionally bright and lovely. A fine copy with exceptional provenance.

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