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America's National Game (Bison Book) Hardcover – March 1, 1992

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Amazon.com Review

Before he became a tycoon in the sporting-goods business, Spalding was one of the guiding lights of professional baseball's infancy. He was a star pitcher--the first to notch 200 career victories--an innovative team owner, a power broker, and, in the end, an éminence grise. And, if he is mostly remembered today as a name branded into the hide of fielders' gloves, his on-field legacy and influence continue to draw immodest breath in this, one of the more curious volumes of the baseball canon.

On one level, Spalding has penned a comprehensive early history of the game, much of it actually reliable. On a second, deeper level, America's National Game, first published in 1911, survives as his testament, the gospel not just according to Albert, but according to how he suggests his own enormous contributions be remembered. Spalding was a true believer: "To enter upon a deliberate argument to prove that Base Ball is our National Game; that it has all the attributes of American origin, American character and unbounded public favor in America, seems a work of supererogation. It is to undertake the elucidation of patent fact; the sober demonstration of an axiom; it is like a solemn declaration that two plus two equals four."

If the numbers don't always add up--Spalding takes full credit for saving baseball and America from gamblers and drunks by helping found the National League in 1876 and then breaking the precursor of the first players' union 14 years later--there is much to recommend in this preservation of an opinionated man's convictions and vivid memory. This was a tremendously important book when it first appeared. Almost a century later, it continues to stand on its bully pulpit as it opens a fascinating, if not always reliable, window into the past. --Jeff Silverman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"The most comprehensive account of the early game."—Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Early Years
(Harold Seymour )

Product Details

  • Series: Bison Book
  • Hardcover: 550 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press (March 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803242204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803242203
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,473,189 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a history on the origins of baseball as written by AG Spalding in 1911. Spalding was one of the founding fathers of professional baseball. He was around when professional baseball was in its infancy and speaks of it in a first hand account. The book was written in 1911 and the written language was a little different then. So that can make it a little difficult at times to understand the sayings and euphemisms of the times. Also the formatting to Kindle was not good. Lots of wasted space where, I presume, pictures were in ther original book but not in the Kindle version. This can make it a hard read too. This book is good if you want to know the complete origins of professional baseball. Spalding goes into detail on how leagues were formed and why some leagues folded and why the National League survived them all. Very,very little about individual games or seasons. At times Spalding goes off in different directions and you wonder why he included a paticular section or two. In my opinion if he had included more about the seasons and players of the 1800's it would have been a more complete history. But still a very worthwhile read if you are interested in the beginngs of professional baseball.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You don't need to buy this one if you already bought BASE BALL America's National Game. They are the SAME book, just different editions. Read one if you really want to understand the origins of BASE BALL, but you don't both.
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