Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Baseball's First Inning: A History of the National Pastime Through the Civil War

by William J. Ryczek

From the publisher:
This history of America's pastime describes the evolution of baseball from early bat and ball games to its growth and acceptance in different regions of the country. The New York clubs (i.e., the Atlantics, Excelsiors and Mutuals) are a primary focus, serving as examples of how the sport became more sophisticated and popular. The author compares theories about many of baseball's "inventors," exploring the often fascinating stories of several of baseball's oldest founding myths. The impact of the Civil War on the sport is discussed and baseball's unsteady path to becoming America's national game is analyzed at length.