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05-08-2007, 07:17 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I think I may be first to post on the new forum! Here goes:<br /><br />In 1995, when the Vintage and Classic Baseball Collector magazine was in its infancy, I wrote a detailed article on rare and historic baseball books. To this day, of all the articles I have ever written, that one was my favorite. Many collectors told me over the years that it was their primary source of reference. At that time, baseball books were widely collected, and the appearance of a rare book or a large early collection was a major event.<br /><br />Today, the market for rare books has sadly declined. In fact, many of the volumes that sold for large sums back in the 90's sell for half that amount today. Part of the problem is there are few collectors, and very little known about them. When a rare book comes up for sale, it often garners little attention.<br /><br />In the REA auction that closed last week, lot #800 was an 1835 edition of The Boys Book of Sports. Not only was it a first edition as was pointed out in the catalog, it is in fact the first chapbook in America to include both rudimentary rules and an illustration of boys playing the game ( a chapbook is a small paperback volume issued solely for children). This book was an extreme rarity. In fact, I thought that the copy I own was the only one in private hands until this second volume appeared. If a baseball card of such rarity was for sale, it would be a major event. But I am willing to bet this lot fell under the radar of most of the Net54 community.<br /><br />I tell this story only to try to drum up some interest for this neglected area of the market. There are many wonderful and rare books, each which reflects an era of baseball history and would make a fine addition to an advanced baseball memorabilia collection. But most collectors today know very little about them. I would like this thread to be a starting point to discuss many of these great volumes, and I would be happy to field questions about vintage baseball books in general.

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05-08-2007, 07:27 PM
Posted By: <b>anthony</b><p>barry, <br />if you can copy a baseball book, add some photos and graphics and condense it into a "nintendo gameboy" cartridge, you might have a chance of youngsters actually reading these days. fortunately for me, i do have 1 son who likes to read about baseball...the other, is glued to that damn "gameboy" and only reads whats required for school.

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05-08-2007, 07:27 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>I have two books that I would consider rare, but their value is probably not a whole lot because they are probably only wanted by a select few collectors. I got them off of ebay and very little competition.<br /><br />This first one I believe to be extremely rare and I have only seen just this one copy....The Yale library of rare books has this book listed in their inventory, but they have it dated as 1903...this one is dated 1900. <img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Nebraska%20Indians%20Baseball%20Team/NebraskaIndiansACH.jpg"><br /><br />This one is hard to find, but I have seen I think 5 original copies of the 4th edition...I have never seen any other edition besides this one. This was reprinted in 1991 or 1992 and you can find copies on ebay or Amazon on occasion.<br /><img src="http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b331/nudan92/Nebraska%20Indians%20Baseball%20Team/funandfrolicSmall.jpg"><br /><br /><br /><br />Barry, I beat you by about half an hour to the first post. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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05-08-2007, 07:29 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Dan<br /><br />I have a copy of Fun and Frolic waiting for me in Seattle. I'll post a scan when I get it, but I think it's a 4th edition as well.<br /><br />(Much easier to post here than on gameusedforum.com)<br /><br />Max

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05-08-2007, 07:32 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>Barry I also posted a realated thread concerning 19th century baseball books but I will gladly defer to you for the first book thread. My main frustration with this area of collecting is that huge desparity in pricing for this material. As I mentioned in my post above I have been able to get alot of items for what seems like bargin prices but the few outlets that sell these items specifically as baseball related seem to have prices that are just out of line- which prices are real- I do not that alot of the big ticket items do seem to set on sites like abe books for a long time <br /><br />

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05-08-2007, 07:32 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>Thanks Max. There has to be some of the other printings out there. The inside cover tells how many in each print run. I believe the first through third run were 5,000 books and the 4th was 10,000.

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05-08-2007, 07:34 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Anthony nailed part of the problem- kids don't read anymore. I don't think my two nephews even know what a book is.<br /><br />But since we are all collectors of antiquities, we don't have the same excuse.<br /><br />Dan, that does look like a very rare book, and I have never seen it before. Can you offer a short summary of the contents?

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05-08-2007, 07:36 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Jason- ABE is very expensive, no question. Rare book dealers are notorius for their huge markups.<br /><br />Baumann Rare Books always has a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times. Yesterday's ad offered a 1911 Spalding book for $2800. You can find a nice copy in the baseball hobby for around $350-400. Their price was just shameful. You just have to hunt a little, it's not always easy.

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05-08-2007, 07:39 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I spelled "notorious" wrong in my previous post but can't find a way to get back in and fix it. I will have a stroke if I can't change it!

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05-08-2007, 07:41 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>Both books deal with the Nebraska Indian baseball club...the first book details the first three seasons and talks about the trials and tribulations of traveling and meeting up with prejudice. It's a little frustrating because there are relatively few names of any players mentioned. It does mention Sam Crawford playing against the Indians when he was with Wahoo, NE. Wahoo was the first team the NI played against. Crawford was enlisted to pitch for the Indians against the U of Nebraska that same year (1897). Crawford also is mentioned as playing against the NI for Wymore which came as a huge surprise for me as I had never heard that he played for any other Nebraska town other than Wahoo. The second book details the first 10 or 11 seasons once again with very few names of players mentioned.

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05-08-2007, 07:41 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>The problem I have is that there seems to be very little available in the hobby-I have gone to major shows like those at Rosemount in Ill and with hundreds of dealers you may find only a couple that have books to sell. The only place I have been able to find anything is at a book site- so I am stuck with the high prices. Whats strange is that even though the product does not appear to move the price never comes down

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05-08-2007, 07:43 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>Word of warning <br />please excuse all of my typo's- I am the son of an english teacher but my spelling is as bad as my typing

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05-08-2007, 07:48 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Book dealers usually will come down a bit, but you will find better deals in our end of the hobby. Not necessarily steals, but fairer prices.<br /><br />Dan- you should write an article about the Nebraska Indians. I've known about the team for many years as I have had cabinet photos on many occasions, but really don't know much about them. It could make for a great reference.

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05-08-2007, 07:52 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>Barry, there is a book out there now with a chapter devoted to the NI. <br /><br /><a href="http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/bookinfo/4615.html" target="_new" rel="nofollow">http://www.nebraskapress.unl.edu/bookinfo/4615.html</a>

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05-08-2007, 07:53 PM
Posted By: <b>greg</b><p>I'm not quite sure I would call this a book, more of a booklet.<br /><br />I originally acquired this piece for our (my dad and I) RI Brewery advertising collection (blows my Sox collection away by a mile). Full of information on a variety of Leagues during the 1911 Season.<br /><br />Obviously, to a beer and baseball fan, this is heaven...<br /><br />:<img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1178585171.JPG"> <img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1178585533.JPG">

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05-08-2007, 08:07 PM
Posted By: <b>Clint</b><p>It's not rare but one of my favorites.<br /><img src="http://www.network54.com/Realm/tmp/1178586410.JPG">

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05-08-2007, 08:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Anonymous</b><p>Clint<br /><br />The Smitty at the Ball Game does come with a dust jacket. I'll try and dig up a copy and post it. It's identical to the dust jacket, and is tough to find. I've only seen 4 or 5 dj's, despite the book itself being common as you stated.<br /><br />Max<br /><br />

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05-08-2007, 08:20 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>Barry ccan you post a copy of the text from the 1995 article in Vintage and Classic_ I tried to buy a back issue but it was sold out <br /><br />

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05-08-2007, 08:33 PM
Posted By: <b>Clint</b><p>Max, I didn't know that. I would love to see that.<br /><br />Barry, I would love to hear details on what's in some of these books such as "Sphere and Ash" and also Sol White. I still have a copy of your 1998 auction in which the Sphere and Ash sold.<br /><br />-Clint

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05-08-2007, 09:02 PM
Posted By: <b>Jason Mishelow</b><p>Clint <br /><br />Sol's whites has been reprinted and can be purchased for less then ten dollars- well worth it, very interesting reading <br />Sphere and Ash also has been reprented but only in a limited run and is very hard to find

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05-08-2007, 09:05 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>The last Camden House reprint in this series was Chadick's The Game of Baseball. <br /><br />It was also in the limited edition of 500

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05-08-2007, 09:09 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>Jason- my computer skills approach zero so I'm the wrong guy for that. But Issue #3 of VCBC shouldn't be too hard to get. If you can't dig one up, send me your address at bsloate@att.net and I will just photocopy it for you. Leon may have an extra copy on his website.<br /><br />Sphere and Ash and Sol White were both reprinted by Camden Press but they too can be a little tough to find. There may even be a newer reprint of Sol White. That book is an excellent history of black baseball in the 19th century. Sphere and Ash is just a National League history by Morse, who was a sportswriter in the 1880's. The text isn't too exciting, its allure is that it's unique. The copy I had, the only one known in private hands, belonged to Amos Alonzo Stagg and was signed by him. I saved a color photocopy of the cover but since I don't know how to scan I won't be of much help.

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05-08-2007, 09:16 PM
Posted By: <b>Dan Bretta</b><p>I know there has to be a Net54 member that lives close to Barry...one of you guys needs to go over to Barry's house and teach him how to use a scanner. <img src="/images/happy.gif" height=14 width=14>

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05-09-2007, 06:15 AM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>My wife knows how to scan, that's how I am able to list on ebay. But I suffer from computer angst.

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05-09-2007, 12:20 PM
Posted By: <b>J Levine</b><p>I spent nearly a decade trying to find any kind of copy of this book (real or the Camden reprint--very limited edition). Five years ago, I got a hit from a rare book seller online for the Camden version. I probably overpaid for it but it was well worth the read. I am always on the lookout for the real thing though.<br /><br />Joshua

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05-09-2007, 01:21 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>So far only one real one is known. When Steve Cummings sold the copy he purchased from us, it went into the REA auction. That's the last time I saw it. Maybe one day it will resurface.

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05-09-2007, 02:53 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>Barry<br /><br />This means I missed seeing it in Steve's collection. I was at his place a number of times, but he had some incredible stuff. His basement was a terrible place for storing the books, and a number of the lesser quality titles had begun to dampstain.<br /><br /><br /><br />Max

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05-09-2007, 03:52 PM
Posted By: <b>barrysloate</b><p>I went to Steve's house to pick up his collection. It was freezing cold, he refused to turn the heat up (so I turned up the thermostat when he wasn't looking), the basement was even colder and the garage was dank and musty. And that's how Steve stored one of the largest book collections ever assembled.<br /><br />Max- I got a call from your friend who had the Daniels book, and I sent you a long email to clearly the wrong address, and two days later it got kicked back undeliverable. But thanks for the referral.

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05-09-2007, 04:25 PM
Posted By: <b>Max Weder</b><p>No problem Barry. I took a look at his scan, and it looks in nice shape--and four years earlier than the REA title. The same day, he also picked a nice Custer cabinet --unbelievable!<br /><br />(Now if I could only find that Won in the Ninth in dust jacket....)<br /><br />Max

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05-14-2007, 03:00 PM
Posted By: <b>mr. moses</b><p>"and I sent you a long email to clearly the wrong address". Must be bookspeak:-)<br />spellchuckler<br />(ooops dey know my real name)<br />gimmie the ball gimmie the ball gimmie the ball