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Exhibition Baseball Americana

John Newbery. A Little Pretty Pocket Book. First American edition. Worcester, Massachusetts: Isaiah Thomas, 1787. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress (005.00.00)

A Little Pretty Pocket Book

This tiny children’s book debunks the great myth that baseball was born in the United States. It is a reprint of John Newbery’s work, first published in England in 1744, but it marks the first American reference to baseball in print: “Base-Ball. The Ball once struck off, Away Flies the Boy, To the next destin’d Post, and then Home with Joy.” Note that the three posts represent bases.