First edition of America’s National Game by professional baseball player and sporting goods manufacturer, Albert G. Spalding.
Octavo, xix, , 542pp. Blue cloth, title stamped in gilt on spine and front cover, illustration of Uncle Sam holding a baseball bat stamped in gilt on front cover. Sepia-toned frontispiece portrait of the author present, light chipping to fore-edge. Numerous illustrations, including 5 folded plates, one plate torn along folds with tape repair on one side, other folded plates near fine. Solid binding, hinges professionally reinforced, repairs to spine ends and corners. Spine darkened and lightly rubbed. Light toning to endpapers and text pages, three pages with a closed tear along edge. Clean text, no marks or notations. Previous owner’s name in blue ink on front free endpaper. An attractive example of this history of early baseball.
Albert G. Spalding (1850-1915) was a professional baseball player and sporting goods manufacturer. Primarily a pitcher, Spalding played baseball professionally from 1871 to 1878, first with the Boston Red Stockings and later the Chicago White Stockings. In 1876, he and his brother Walter established A.G. Spalding & Bros. sporting goods store in Chicago. The business sold baseballs, uniforms and other equipment. Spalding retired as a baseball player in 1878 but continued with the sport in an executive capacity, becoming Secretary of the Chicago White Stockings. In 1882, he became president and owner of the team. During the winter of 1888-1889, Spalding organized baseball’s first round-the-world tour to promote baseball and Spalding sporting goods. Needing to spend more time with his business, Spalding stepped down as president of the Chicago club in 1891, and he eventually sold the team in 1902. Spalding moved to California and died there in 1915. In 1939, Albert G. Spalding was inducted posthumously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.