Signed First Edition of America's National Game by A. G. Spalding

Sold For: $2,938

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1232

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Hardcover first edition of America's National Game by A. G. Spalding (American Sports Publishing Company, New York, 1911), beautifully signed, inscribed, and dated by Spalding in black fountain pen on the front flyleaf: "To R. O. Johnson with my compliments - A. G. Spalding - New York, Oct 24, 1911." Both the inscription and signature have been uniformly and very boldly scripted, grading "9" overall. This is an outstanding signed presentation copy signed by A. G. Spalding. This book is considered one of the great classics of baseball literature because it was the most ambitious history of the game ever published up to that time, is profusely illustrated, and, most important, it incorporates the findings of the Mills Report of 1907. That report credited Abner Doubleday (albeit erroneously) with having invented the game of baseball in 1839. With the publication of this book, that myth became firmly entrenched within the collective consciousness of American culture and persists to this day, despite its refutation in more modern times by numerous historians. A. G. Spalding was perhaps the most influential figure in baseball history, having been a former star pitcher, team owner, and sporting-goods magnate. He passed away in 1915 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1939. The 542-page book (5.5 x 8 inches) is complete with all of its fold-out illustrations. A photo of Spalding, picturing him seated at his desk signing a document, has been affixed to the interior front cover and makes for a splendid compliment to the adjacent inscribed page. The blue-cloth boards are extraordinarily bright and clean with virtually no wear (which of course is ideal for display). There is a minor separation along the spine (mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy; all of the pages are firmly attached), and rippling to a page preceding one of the fold-outs; otherwise in Excellent condition. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500+. SOLD FOR $2,938

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