Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908

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9780803292444: Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908
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This compilation of 120 primary writings documents baseball’s first century, from a loosely organized village social event to the arrival of the National League. Collecting from a wide range of sources—including newspaper accounts, letters, folk poetry, songs, and annual guides—Dean A. Sullivan of Fairfax, Virginia, progresses chronologically from the earliest known baseball reference (1825) to the creation of the Doubleday Myth (1908).

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Review:

Until some scientific Babe Ruth perfects a prudent technique for time travel, the best way to experience a past rich with flavor and immediacy remains through access to primary, contemporary sources. The way it brings the past into the present, Early Innings should bill itself as a tour guide for armchair travel into baseball's beginnings and infancy.

Essentially, it's a scrapbook--carefully researched and assembled--of the game's evolution from the earliest published report of a "bass-ball" challenge match between Upstate New York teams in 1825 to the 1901 birth of the American League and the spurious 1908 report on the origin of the game that pitched the myth of Cooperstown and Abner Doubleday. Sullivan's sources run the bases from newspaper and periodical accounts to letters to excerpts from such documents as "Spalding's Official Baseball Guide," each packaged with individual introductions to lend context to the text.

Combining serious scholarship and fascinating journalism, Early Innings covers the kind of territory good center fielders dream of. Some of its more curious bits of ephemera: the first published account--with something resembling a box score--of a ball game in a New York paper from 1845; an 1856 defense of the game as a "manly exercise"; the 1862 obituary of James Creighton, one of the game's prehistoric stars; Henry Chadwick's 1867 "Ancient History of Baseball" (with, not surprisingly, no mention of Doubleday or Cooperstown at all); the document excluding blacks from the National Association of Base Ball Players; William Hulbert's original proposal to form the National League; a chronicle of the first game played under the lights--informally, in Nantucket; the rule change setting the current distance between the plate and the mound; John McGraw's defection from the Baltimore Orioles to the New York Giants; and the Boston Globe's account of Cy Young's defeat in the opening game of the first World Series. As extensive as it is appealing, Early Innings informs, instructs, entertains, and amazes, just like the game it sheds its light on. --Jeff Silverman

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This collections of 120 documents illuminates the beginnings of baseball as it evolved from a casual, loosely organized village social event before the Civil War to the national, formally organized, and thoroughly capitalist and professional undertaking of the twentieth century.

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 1997. Softcover. Condition: New. 326 pages. Softcover. New book. SPORTS. This compilation of 120 primary writings documents baseball's first century, from a loosely organized village social event to the arrival of the National League. Collecting from a wide range of sourcesÑincluding newspaper accounts, letters, folk poetry, songs, and annual guidesÑDean A. Sullivan of Fairfax, Virginia, progresses chronologically from the earliest known baseball reference (1825) to the creation of the Doubleday Myth (1908). (Key Words: Sports, Baseball, Journalism, History). book. Seller Inventory # 71479X1

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. This compilation of 120 primary writings documents baseball s first century, from a loosely organized village social event to the arrival of the National League. Collecting from a wide range of sources-including newspaper accounts, letters, folk poetry, songs, and annual guides-Dean A. Sullivan of Fairfax, Virginia, progresses chronologically from the earliest known baseball reference (1825) to the creation of the Doubleday Myth (1908). Seller Inventory # AAS9780803292444

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press 1997-02, 1997. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand. Brand new book, sourced directly from publisher. Dispatch time is 24-48 hours from our warehouse. Book will be sent in robust, secure packaging to ensure it reaches you securely. Seller Inventory # NU-LSI-06944847

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Book Description University of Nebraska Press, United States, 1997. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. This compilation of 120 primary writings documents baseball s first century, from a loosely organized village social event to the arrival of the National League. Collecting from a wide range of sources-including newspaper accounts, letters, folk poetry, songs, and annual guides-Dean A. Sullivan of Fairfax, Virginia, progresses chronologically from the earliest known baseball reference (1825) to the creation of the Doubleday Myth (1908). Seller Inventory # AAS9780803292444

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