Detail map of Boston, Massachusetts, United States Overview map of Boston, Massachusetts, United States

A: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

The First Book on Baseball is Issued Anonymously


In 1859 The Base Ball Player's Pocket Companion: Containing Rules and Regulations for Forming Clubs, Directions for the "Massachusetts Game," and the "New York Game," from Official Reports was published in Boston by Mayhew & Baker. This small format 16mo of only 35 (1) pp. was the first book exclusively devoted to baseball, which began to become organized in the United States during the 1850s. By 1857 sixteen area clubs formed the sport's first governing body, the National Association of Base Ball Players.

The original flexible cloth binding on this anonymous work contained an illustration of a ball player stamped in gold on the upper cover. In October 2012 Between the Covers-Rare Books offered a very good copy of the original edition for $39,500.

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