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on July 3, 2006
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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on April 4, 2006
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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on March 19, 2014
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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on November 5, 2011
Fantastic look at 19th century travel and well researched look at how Spalding (of the Spalding Sporting Goods Co. fame) came up with this crazy idea to send two teams on tour around the world promoting the game of baseball. The crowd sizes in some places blow your mind esp. for the 19th century.

You don't really need to be a baseball fan to read this. It's a travel essay than anything else. Interesting to note the labor unrest we think of as a modern thing in MLB was there back in the 1880s, too.

Fascinating for baseball fans as a few classic characters were on the tour--Cap Anson and John Montgomery Ward to name just two.
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on December 22, 2011
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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on February 9, 2011
This is a surprisingly interesting book even if you aren't a baseball fan. An enterprising team owner and upcoming sports equipment magnate, Spalding sought to gain more visibility for the American pastime by doing exhibition games around the world over the course of six months in 1888-89. The book really is much more about the experiences of a group of Americans, mostly young men (several wives came along), visiting exotic places and behaving like, well, a bunch of young men would on a rather incredible road trip. Lamster is a very good writer who carries the story along with fun anecdotes and never bogs down in moralizing or schmaltz. Highly recommended.
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on November 5, 2014
A good companion to the Ambassadors of Baseball. Closer to the material he draws on than Ambassadors.
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on February 28, 2011
I have trouble where to begin my review. There are so many enlightning aspects to this book! For instance, what were the "economics" of baseball in the late 1880's? What kind of indivuduals played the game? How were blacks treaten? Why a world tour in the first place? What was it like to travel around the world then?

Perhaps even more importantly, you'll learn about some highly imposing individuals like Cap Anson, John Montgomery Ward and Albert Spalding. Those are the 3 central "players" in a elaborate intrigue to keep one educated player far from America while the owners enforces a slave-like salary cap and working conditions on the National League players.

Owners can go the great lengths into order to keep the players under tight control...
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