“THERE CAN NO LONGER BE ROOM FOR SURPRISE THAT SUCH A GAME SHOULD REACH THE UNPRECEDENTED POPULARITY THAT THE AMERICAN GAME OF BASE BALL HAS ATTAINED”: SPALDING’S OFFICIAL BASE BALL GUIDE FOR 1886
SPALDING, Albert G. Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide. Chicago and New York: A.G. Spalding, 1886. 12mo, original pictorial beige paper wrappers.
Spalding’s annual Guide contains comprehensive statistics for both the major and minor leagues, the current rule book, and a pictorial catalog of equipment and uniforms.
One-time ballplayer, team owner, entrepreneur and Senatorial candidate, Albert G. Spalding published his first Official Base Ball Guide in 1878 as a supplement to his National League-authorized League Book, and the success of these two publications was such that soon "both the guide and the book were synonymous for most followers of baseball with Spalding and the National League" (Levine, A.G. Spalding and the Rise of Baseball, 76). It was the "best known baseball guide for 61 years" (Smith, 23). With errata slip laid in. With 31 pages of baseball-related advertisements. Grobani 3-9. Smith 344.
Marginal bump to edge of page 7, a couple tiny spots of soiling to interior, only minor wear to extremities of original wrappers. A near-fine copy. Vintage guides are very hard to find intact and in this condition.