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Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe - And Made it America's Game Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (June 5, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586484338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586484330
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,237,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lamster paints a picture of sporting goods icon Albert Goodwill Spalding at the end of the nineteenth century, suited up and on a mission to spread the American gospel of baseball (and expand his business opportunities in the process). For six months in 1888, Spalding and two baseball teams went on a globe-spanning goodwill tour, endorsed by President Cleveland, to introduce the national American sport to the world. As Spalding books a convoy of camels to carry the touring group to the pyramids in Egypt and attempts to hire out the Coliseum in Rome, his grandiloquent business sense is rendered in all its color and force. Lamster's descriptions are careful and precise, but overly detailed scenes can become tiresome-from a sumptuous gala at Delmonico's in New York to Clicquot toasts in Australia with the mayor of Sydney, Lamster indulges in pages of the tourists' luxuriating. Influenced by P. T. Barnum and credited with fabricating the mythology of baseball that we still hold dear, Spalding's impact on the sport is obvious, and this account of his world tour should please fans of baseball and marketing mavens alike.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From The New Yorker

In the late nineteenth century, Albert Spalding, a sporting-goods magnate and former baseball star, decided to improve business by anointing himself ambassador for baseball and taking two teams of professional players on a six-month world tour. He brought along sideshow attractions, including an aerialist who hung on a trapeze from a hot-air balloon before the game, and he paid a prominent journalist to lend his support in print. Spalding's success is debatable; spectators in Britain, for instance, were hard-pressed to follow the action and declared the game a knockoff of rounders. Spalding's jaunt was an early example of the globalization of sports (the Olympics weren't far behind), but Lamster's history, while thorough and detailed, doesn't substantively address what its reception might have suggested about overseas attitudes toward America's burgeoning cultural clout.
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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It is told in a narrative way and very enjoyable.
Richard K. Hall
From October 1888 to April 1889, A.G. Spalding conducted a 57-game world tour of baseball all-stars to showcase America's game.
Best Of All
A fascinating and exceptionally well written view into America in the late 19th century.
Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By GSE on July 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mark Lamster has written a fascinating account of Albert Spalding's 1888-89 world tour. I had long assumed that all but the most general details of this event were lost to history, but the author's prodigious research and lively style has resulted in a vivid account that I couldn't put down. Not only was the tour brought to life for me, but the ball players' personalities as well. Lamster's coverage of the tour also serves as a window on society and life in the 19th century, in a most revealing way. In a word, this amazing book is delightful.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reviewer on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
A fascinating and exceptionally well written view into America in the late 19th century. If you love either history or baseball then you should read. If you love both then this book is made for you. If you love neither but have interest, then I strongly reccommend because the author does a terrific job of making the characters and scenes come to life. I very much enjoyed this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Best Of All on July 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Talk about an ambitious undertaking, allegedly for the love of the game.

From October 1888 to April 1889, A.G. Spalding conducted a 57-game world tour of baseball all-stars to showcase America's game. Starting and ending in cities in the United States, the road show played games - on the field and off - in Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Egypt, Italy, Great Britain and Ireland.

Author Mark Lamster delivers a round-tripper on the twists, turns and pratfalls of Spalding's public-relations machine in bringing the sport to new fans.....which would - he hoped - boost sales of his sporting goods.

There is personal and professional intrigue - superstar John Ward was in the midst of divorcing his starlet wife, while plotting to seize control of Spalding's National League organization - games played before monarchs & fields that made for a comedy of errors, with baseballs batted at the great Sphinx.

This is a wonderful account of "America's Pastime" being trotted around the globe for the good(s) of the game.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you like to read about something a little different about baseball history this book is for you. This about an around the world trip professional baseball took in the 1888-89 off season. Al Spalding organized the tour. It started as a tour to Australia but ended as a world tour to the middle east and Europe. All the adventures they had are told here. It was a different time and era. They brought baseball to the world. Many places had never or hardly seen it. It is told in a narrative way and very enjoyable.
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By Austin on December 22, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
Mark Lamster's Spalding's World Tour is an entertaining and informative read. Anyone interested in baseball, history, or the evolution of modern American culture will especially enjoy this 283 page work. For baseball fans, the most fascinating theme of the book is how much some things about the game have changed, while other aspects such as labor relations remain the same. I highly recommend Spalding's World Tour.
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