Spalding Base Ball Guides, 1889-1939 collection reproduces 35 of the guides, which were published by the Spalding Athletic Company. Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide was the premier publication of its day for the game of baseball. It featured editorials from baseball writers on the state of the game, statistics, photographs, and analysis of the previous season for all the Major League teams and for many of the so-called minor leagues across the nation.
Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) was a baseball player, manager, and executive. Together with his brother, he ran the sporting-goods manufacturing and retail business that still bears his name now. He also founded a publishing house, the American Sports Publishing Company.
In addition to the text, all guides included an advertising section for the Spalding sporting-goods empire that provides a fascinating history of the development of everything from baseball gloves, tennis racquets, and ice skates to golf clubs and football cleats; the Spalding Company made them all.
The Library of Congress has more than one thousand of these guides.