New York: Charles Scribner's Sons [from 1880], 1887. First Edition. Pictorial Cloth. Seldom seen Second Printing (no copy appears in auction records) of this cornerstone of baseball literature. Binding and text duplicate the first printing, excepting date on title page and advertisements (eight pages vs. six in first printing). Crown 8vo (178 x 112mm): viii,,188,pp, with tissue-guarded wood-engraved frontispiece. Publisher's pictorial green cloth, front cover stamped in gilt and black with gilt vignette of pitcher framed by baseball diamond, spine lettered and decorated with crossed bats in black and gilt vignette of hitter at bat. An excellent example, securely bound (lightly shelf-rubbed) and clean throughout. Grobani 12-2A and McCue, p. 24 (for first edition and 1889 revised edition only). Not in Smith. Fine-. Item #BB2049
Originally serialized in St. Nicholas Magazine, from May to October, 1880, then published in book form that same year. Sometimes credited as the first baseball novel, but according to McCue the fifth fictional work to feature the game. Although earlier authors, from James Fenimore Cooper to William Everett, had featured baseball scenes in their fiction, this was one of the first novels in which baseball played a prominent role. Brooks wrote that The Fairport Nine was based on his boys militia unit and baseball team in Castine, Maine, in the 1840s (see Brooks, "How the Flag was Saved," St. Nicholas Magazine, Vol. XXIII, no. 4, February, 1896). "Characters in the Story" leaf following the contents page lists players and their positions for The Fairport Nine and their opponents, The White Bears. Brooks was a friend of Abraham Lincoln, who he met while reporting on the presidential campaign of 1856. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).