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The Way Baseball Was

Recently added to the more than 120 thematic presentations in the American Memory Web site is "Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889-1939" which comprises a selection of "Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide" and the "Official Indoor Base Ball Guide." The collection reproduces 35 of the guides, which were published by the Spalding Athletic Co. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

American Sports Pub. Co., creator, 'Official Indoor Base Ball Guide Containing the Constitution,' 1903. General Collections. Call No.: GV881.N27. American Sports Pub. Co., creator. Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide, 1889.

"Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide" was perhaps the premier publication of its day for the game of baseball. It featured editorials from baseball writers on the state of the game, statistics, photographs and analyses of the previous season for all the Major League teams and for many of the so-called minor leagues across the nation.

"The Official Indoor Baseball Guide" covers a game unfamiliar to most contemporary baseball fans because its demise so long ago. These guides, too, offer rules and "how-tos" of the game, information on the game's founding fathers, photographic illustrations of teams and players from across the land and game statistics. The 20 "Official Indoor Base Ball Guides" included in this collection were published between 1903 and 1926.

During his more than 21 years' involvement with baseball's Major Leagues, A.G. (Albert Goodwill) Spalding (1850-1915) was a baseball player, manager and executive. With his brother he began the sporting-goods manufacturing and retail business that still bears his name and is known to millions. He also founded a publishing house, the American Sports Publishing Co.

The Library's American Memory Web site can vastly increase your knowledge of America's favorite pastime. "Baseball Cards: 1887-1914" is a treasure house of colorful images early heroes of the game such as Cy Young, Connie Mack, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Ty Cobb and King Kelly. "By Popular Demad: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights" tells the fascinating story of how Jackie Robinson broke baseballs "color barrier" in 1947.

American Memory is a multimedia Web site of more than 8.5 million digital items - books, manuscripts, maps, motion pictures, sound recordings, prints, photographs and sheet music.

The Spalding presentation also includes external links to related resources such as the Web sites of Major League Baseball, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the Society for American Baseball Research and the Sports Research Collection at the University of Notre Dame.


A. American Sports Pub. Co., creator, "Official Indoor Base Ball Guide Containing the Constitution," 1903. General Collections. Call No.: GV881.N27. Reproduction information, link here.

B. American Sports Pub. Co., creator. "Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide," 1889. General Collections. Call No.: GV877.S73. Reproduction information, link here.


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