Saturday, January 30, 2010

Spalding’s World Tour, The Epic Adventure That Took Baseball Around The Globe-And Made It America’s Game by Mark Lamster; BBS Public Affairs, New York; 341 pages; 796.357 L241s/978-1-58648-311-1; 10/13-10/18/06
On October 20, 1888 Albert Spalding and twenty baseball players from the Chicago White Stockings and representatives of the other National League Teams left Chicago for a trip which would eventually take them around the world. The tour was originally scheduled to go to Australia and New Zealand to introduce them to baseball. Spalding knew before he left that the trip would go around the world, but didn’t tell the players until they were between Hawaii and Australia. The teams agreed with the proposal and they went on to Ceylon, India, Arabia, Egypt, Italy, France, England, Scotland and Ireland playing ball in the shadow of the pyramids among other landmarks. It was ostensibly about introducing baseball to the world but it was also about Spalding spread his sporting goods empire around the world. This record of the trip is well balanced presenting Spalding’s propaganda and the reality of the trip. It is an interesting addition to the history of baseball.

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