See more about early happenings in the game of baseball, with this over-sized hardcover book by Seymour R. Church. Copyright dated 1902, this scarce first edition is titled "Baseball 1845-1871". Church lovingly describes the earliest period of organized play for the "National Pastime", focusing mainly on play that took place on the East Coast and in California.
The book is dedicated to Calvin A. McVey, who played for the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, and who is pictured in a color plate at front opposite the dedication page. Other full-page color plates are of Rube Waddell, Harry Wright also of the 1869 Reds, Chas. Reilly and an ad for another of Seymour's publications, with all protected by original glassine sheets.
This 11x14 book has been relined with new endpapers, and a cutout from page 15 has been neatly repaired with a photocopy of Doug Allison, another of McVey's 1869 teammates. A written presentation salutation is noted on the front flyleaf page, and there is a small tear at the top corner of the Waddell plate, which is located well away from the image area. Otherwise this restored example of a seriously tough antique baseball publication shows very handsome better level details. The spine is labeled "Vol. 1," as Church intended to publish subsequent volumes, however a fire in 1902 destroyed his business the very same year this book was offered.
Also present are (2) of Seymour's 1902 mail order "picture" versions of plates featured in the offered book, with: 7-1/2 x 11" Rube Waddell (GD-VG); and 11x9 Harry Wright presents FR-GD details with deference to a 2" tear at top, that ventures into the image field are about 1". These antique mail order premiums appear to be even harder to come by than the accompanying book.