"THE AMERICAN GAME PAR EXCELLENCE": SPALDING'S HISTORY OF BASEBALL
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. $3200.
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.
"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. Owner ink signature.
Forbes Field panorama with expert repairs to folds. Text block neatly recased in original cloth, with restoration to spine ends and inner paper hinges. Cloth clean, gilt bright. An extremely good copy.