Original Wraps. New York and Chicago: A. G. Spalding & Bros. 1885. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition. Original publisher's tan printed wrappers. A very good copy with some wear and minor loss to the spine ends, some stains to the rear wrapper, small former owner signature to the lower edge of the front wrapper, pages toned throughout. Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide was an annually issued baseball guide first published in 1877 by sporting goods magnate A. G. Spalding's American Sports Publishing Company. During the 19th century, Spalding and Reach's guides were the primary source of sports statistics and analysis of the prior year; they also included the rules and regulations for playing the game. Spalding and Reach fully merged by 1942 to form The Sporting News. The 1885 guide includes statistics for 1884, Major League Baseball plays its first World Championship Series ("World Series") between the New York Metropolitans and the Providence Grays, though the 1903 World Series is considered the first modern era World Series with the inclusion of the American League, which started in 1901. Notable statistics include Hall of Fame legends Mike "King" Kelly and Cap Anson leading the league in batting average and runs batted in (RBI) respectively. 1884 was especially an impressive season for baseball in that 6 of the top 10 single season strikeout records were set by Hugh Daily and Old Hoss Radbourne, which still stand today. It wasn't until over 80 years later Sandy Koufax (1965) and Nolan Ryan (1973) joined the top 10.