Original Wraps. New York: De Witt, 1883. First Edition. Good.
First edition, first printing. Rebound in custom brown cloth with titles in black to spine, with publisher’s yellow wrappers bound in, printed in black with illustration of mustached pitcher to front wrapper, Peck & Snyder advertisement to rear wrapper. Good with some rubbing to wrappers, light edgewear, a bit of soiling to rear wrapper, some tape repair to frontispiece, and minor spotting to pages. Overall, a pleasing copy. Scarce. The De Witt's Base-Ball Guide, published annually from 1868 to 1885, was the official publication of the Amateur and Professional Association, and stands as one of the first and most comprehensive guides to baseball ever published. New York Herald baseball reporter M. J. Kelly edited the guide in its first year, and subsequent editions were edited by the so-called "father of baseball", Henry Chadwick (1824-1908). The guide was aimed at both players and fans; it included lists of player averages, detailed explanations of the rules of the game, and advice for athletes on how best to prepare themselves for the sport. Interestingly, though the guides were immensely popular, some of Chadwick's advice was perceived as excessively proper - his condemnation of athletes drinking alcohol, for example, did not resonate well with all of his readers. Even so, Chadwick was revered as the foremost authority on the intricacies of the sport, and his writing for De Witt's Base-Ball Guide remains part of the sport's trajectory to what it is today.