Original Wraps. Philadelphia: The Athletic Publishing Company, 1888. First Edition. Near Fine.
First edition. Publisher's yellow wrappers, lettered in black. Near fine, with light toning to spine, very light soiling to wrappers, black marker line to fore edge of text block, light chipping to spine ends, top left corner of rear wrapper missing and some tears to top corners of a few pages at back of book, small closed tear to bottom of rear panel, and gift inscription to verso of frontis. Overall, an exceptional copy of a very scarce book. In Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, baseball Hall of Famer John Montgomery Ward explains the history, theory, and positions of the game. The book is notable for being one of the first instructional baseball books. As a player, Ward's most notable achievement was pitching the second perfect game in major league history in 1880. Yet his playing career was just a one part of his illustrious baseball career - he was also a manager, executive, author, and union organizer. A passionate supporter of player rights, Ward spearheaded the creation of the first sports labor union, the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players, in 1885, primarily as a reaction to the NL and AA's restrictive reserve clause. Ward also founded the Players' League in 1890, as a way of combatting the reserve clause, but the league only lasted a year. Item #JMW004