Did you know that there were over 75 different variations of baseballs used in Major League games since the development of the professional leagues? This unique book is the first of its kind to focus on the history of the base ball itself, how the ball has changed over the years in regards to production, manufacturing, materials, stamping, stitch color, and general appearance, from its very first use in the mid to late 1800s to modern day.
The main focus, presented beautifully on 9.5” by 12” matte finished pages, is the aesthetic changes the ball itself has undergone. Each page in this large, hard-cover book showcases a ball in remarkable, high-quality photography, showing all stamped panels, as well as the original box, an astounding piece of visual information, especially given the rarity of several balls. These changes are accurately traced chronologically and go through both the American and National Leagues of Professional Base Ball Clubs. Each page is dedicated to a specific ball and time period, and even highlights the smallest of changes, including the Presidential stamping, logo changes, and branding differences. Some of these baseballs are so rare that only one or two are known to exist, and this book contains photographs of even those most rare of balls, something sure to leave even the most avid collector in complete awe.
Along with the visuals presented, detailed biographies of each league President along with A.G. Spalding, Reach, and Rawlings Companies are also included, adding a level of intellectual depth to the book. Smaller chapters focus on pre professional league base balls such as Lemon Peel, belt balls, dead era, lively league and the first use of the conventional "figure eight", and balls used in the Negro League and Girls Professional Baseball League. An added bonus to the already amazingly comprehensive collection of pictures and information, is the scattering of vintage photographs, advertisements, and vividly colorful vintage Spalding and Reach baseball guides from as early as 1885. Other books have detailed the history of the game and its players, and some have dabbled in exposing details of the ball, but until now there have been none that focus only on the most important aspect in such glorified and comprehensive detail. Finally the ball will receive the attention and respect it deserves.