This oversized (11 x 14 inches) hard-bound volume of early baseball history, often referred to as "The Church Book," is highlighted by five beautiful full-color plates, as well as numerous black-and-white illustrations relating to baseball history. The book was self-published by early baseball enthusiast Seymour Church in 1902 and chronicles the history of baseball, with particular focus on the history of the game in California during the nineteenth century. This is one of the all-time classic early baseball books devoted to the history of baseball, with many photographs and a great deal of information which appear nowhere else. This book was intended to be the first of a series published by Church (it is "Volume 1") but a fire destroyed Church's business and his very substantial baseball collection in 1902, apparently derailing his plans for additional volumes. The book (11 x 14 inches) is complete with all five color plates, but the original thin overlays are no longer present. Moderate wear is evident to the red-leather boards, including a slight split along the spine. There is a partial separation along the interior spine, and a large repaired tear to the first color plate of Cal McVey. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.
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