Players' National League Base Ball Guide for 1890

1890 Chicago: Published by F.H.Brunell, Sec'y and Treas. of the Players' League, First edition. Pulp paper in color printed wrappers. Wrappers are heavily chipped, with old tape repairs to the spine and there is some chipping (not affecting the text) at the bottom corner of the first few pages. Extremely scarce early baseball guide, published for the only year of existance of the Players' League. The Players'(or Brotherhood) League was a cooperative organized by the major league players themselves, led by New York Giants star shortstop John Montgomery Ward, in revolt against a system of salary limits and player classifications imposed by the magnates of the National League. Roughly half of the NL players joined the Brotherhood and jumped to the new league; the public, however, with their loyalties divided, supported neither league very well and attendance fell off precipitously. Faced with financial disaster, the National League came to terms with the Brotherhood, absorbed some of the Brotherhood teams, disbanded the rest and established a single, 12-team league which would be the only "major league" until the advent of the American League in 1901. Despite the condition flaws, this guide remains one of the scarcest and most sought after 19th century baseball publications, with only 3 copies seen at auction in the last ten years. (Item ID: F434)


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