Hard Cover. San Francisco: Seymour R. Church, 1902. First Edition. Fine.
Church, Seymour R. Base Ball: The History, Statistics and Romance of the American National Game From Its Inception to the Present Time. San Francisco: Seymour R. Church, 1902. Volume I, 1845-1871 (volume II never published). Illustrated with color illustrations and black & white photographs. First edition. Original publisher's red pebbled cloth, lettered in gilt to the front cover. An excellent copy with only some mild wear and rubbing to the extremities and several small scattered scuff to the covers, hinges tender. A very bright and attractive copy of an extremely scarce early baseball book. Written and published by San Francisco historian Seymour R. Church, this book details the history and origins of baseball, from the formation of the New York Knickerbockers in 1845 through the establishment of the first professional league in 1871. It features numerous portraits of notable figures, including George Wright, shortstop for the Chicago Red Stockings, the country's first professional team. Though intended as the first part in a larger series, later volumes were never published. Notably, Church, who also worked as a salesman for the Muirkirk iron foundry, was widely regarded as the foremost authority on baseball in the western United States, and had previously published a four-volume series called Base Ball Schedule and Memorandum Book, which was well-received and popular among baseball fans at the time.