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Exhibition Baseball Americana

John Montgomery Ward. Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game. Philadelphia: The Athletic Publishing Co., 1888. General Collections, Library of Congress (029.00.00)
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John Montgomery Ward. Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game. Philadelphia: The Athletic Publishing Co., 1888. General Collections, Library of Congress (029.00.01)
Enlarge
John Montgomery Ward. Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History and Explanation of the Game. Philadelphia: The Athletic Publishing Co., 1888. General Collections, Library of Congress (029.00.02)
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How to Become a Player

In this landmark work that deftly mixed scholarship, experience, and wit, major leaguer John Montgomery Ward documented the game’s murky beginnings and addressed baseball matters “which can be told only by a player.” In his book, he urged players to “keep out of saloons,” suggested that playing handball was more beneficial than spring training, and heartily supported amateur baseball “in every hamlet” as the basis for the game’s continued success. Before describing the particulars of each player position, however, Ward used his first chapter, shown here, to expound on baseball’s basic principles for the benefit of “the ladies,” since some men, he noted, were unable to explain the game intelligibly or were too caught up in it to do so.

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