Boston: Henry Hoyt, 1869. First Edition. cloth. 1st edition of the 3rd baseball novel ever, preceded by Oldfellow’s Uncle Nat (1865), and Everett’s Changing Base (1868), but The Yachtville Boys cuts some path too. It’s the first baseball novel written by a woman, and the first one with a frontispiece illustrating the game being played, although the plate was engraved by an artist who had never seen baseball, so the view looks more like a deformed cricket match, even though the detailed account of the game, as played out in the text, leaves no doubt that the boys are contesting American baseball and no other sport. The Yachtville Boys is also the scarcest of the 3, with just a single defective 1st edition sold at auction in the last 50 years (1993). OCLC verifies that scarcity, locating only 7 copies in libraries worldwide (Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Kansas, Brown, Yale, U. C. L. A. and The American Antiquarian Society). Publisher’s cloth, some rubs and wear to the spine tips and corners, (see photograph), inner paper hinges invisibly strengthened, but very good, sound, and with no major flaws, a superior copy of this book. Very good. Item #50
Watch city on city (or country vs. country) team sports, and it’s easy to forget that something higher is behind them all. Something so refined and cultured as to defy comparison. These games are no less than, a civilized substitute for war.