(INSCRIBED BY SPALDING) America's National Game: Historic Facts Concerning the Beginning Evolution, Development and Popularity of Base Ball, with Personal Reminiscences of Its Vicissitudes, Its Victories and Its Votaries
A.G. Spalding

 (INSCRIBED BY SPALDING) America's National Game: Historic Facts Concerning the Beginning Evolution, Development and Popularity of Base Ball, with Personal Reminiscences of Its Vicissitudes, Its Victories and Its Votaries

New York: American Sports Publishing, 1911. First edition First edition, inscribed by Spalding on the front flyleaf "To John Heydler/with my compliments/A.G. Spalding/New York/Oct. 15. 1911." (apparently publication date as the only signed copies we have seen are dated either Oct. 11 or Dec 25. 1911) Publisher's gilt stamped blue cloth. 7 3/4 x 5 1/8 inches (20 x 13.5 cm); 542 pp., portrait frontispiece, photographically illustrated including foor folding photographic plates all of which are present and intact. The binding rubbed (though the front cover gilt lettereing and Uncle Sam design are bright, the spine lettering somewhat less so) and somewhat bowed from a former dampstain which affects the page edges and has left a tideline around much of the text at the front and rear of the volume, the endpapers, including the inscribed leaf, are spotted and with some blue marks from the cloth at edges, these leaves nearly sprung, the rear hinge strengthened and the endpaper detached. Spalding's important reminiscences of the early days of baseball, inscribed to fellow baseball pioneer John Heydler, who had been a National League Umpire (1895-97), a sportswriter, Secretary to the National League President (from 1903), and the National League's Secretary-Treasurer at the time of this presentation (1907-18); he was briefly NL President in 1909 after Harry Pulliam's suicide and again assumed the President's postion from 1918 to 1934. The classic early work on baseball, authored by one of the sports' founding fathers and founder of America's first sporting goods empire. A.G. Spalding was one of the game's earliest professional stars, pitching for Rockford, Boston and Chicago in the 1860s and 70s. He gave up active play when he and his brother launched the sporting goods company that bore their names and, in the 1880s, became the most powerful magnate in the game. This work is filled with history and anecdotes as well as photos still to be found nowhere else. Spalding devotes a large section to flag-waving and "proving" the Doubleday myth which expounds that baseball was a totally American invention which sprang full-blown from the mind of the later-day general in 1839 at Cooperstown. Hardcover (Item ID: E18466)

$3,250.00

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