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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Attributed to Louis Maurer, artist. The National Game. Three “Outs” and One “Run.” Lithograph. New York: Currier & Ives, 1860. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (013.01.00)

Baseball as a Political Metaphor

Shortly after Abraham Lincoln won the 1860 presidential election, this cartoon depicted his victory over rivals John Bell, Stephen Douglas, and John C. Breckinridge, whose bats are inscribed with their political positions. Lincoln steps on “home base” and holds a split rail labeled “Equal Rights and Free Territory” as a skunk disdainfully raises its tail toward the three losing candidates. The president-elect advises them that to succeed, they “must have ‘a good bat’ and ‘strike a fair ball’ to make ‘a clean score & ‘a home run.’”