Base Ball in Philadelphia

A History of the Early Game, 1831–1900


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SKU: 9780786427956 Categories: , Tags: ,

About the Book

This work starts with the formation of the first baseball club in America, the Olympic Town Ball Club, and concludes with the final year of the National League’s monopoly. Also included: the early Philadelphia club teams, including the first great African-American team, the Pythians; Philadelphia’s part in the National Association of Base Ball Players; and the golden days of the national champion Philadelphia Athletic Club from 1860 through the National Association years.

About the Author(s)

SABR member John Shiffert is director of university relations at Clayton State University in Morrow, Georgia. A Philadelphia native, he lives in Newnan, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

John Shiffert

Foreword by H.R. “Ted” Taylor

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 298
Bibliographic Info: 42 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2795-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments       vii
Preface      1
Introduction—Baseball and Philadelphia      3
A Guide to Statistics      7

Part I—The Clubs and the Teams and the City      11

1. The Olympic Days      13
2. The Game Spreads and Philadelphia Grows      21
3. Baseball During the Civil War—Philadelphia Joins the NABBP      31
4. The First Name in Philadelphia Baseball—Athletic      41
5. The Drawing of the Color Line      55
6. The Coming of the Pros      62
7. The National Association Years      71
8. The Centennial City and the First Year of the National League      87
9. The Beer and Whiskey League Comes to Philadelphia      97
10. A Pennant for the Athletics      105
11. The Worcester Ruby Legs and the New Philadelphia Philadelphias      113
12. The Athletics’ Riches to Rags Story      129
13. Other Teams, Other Leagues      141
14. War and Peace and War      152
15. The 1890s Phillies—It Was Always Something      161

Part II—A Biographical Dictionary      179

Chapter Notes      269
Bibliography      277
Index      281

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “detailed and meticulously researched…a well-executed labor of love…recommended”—Choice; “a well-researched book”—SLA listerv; “well-researched…fascinating”—Aethlon; “should be applauded”—The Pennsylvania Magazine of History & Biography; “the most comprehensive history of nineteenth-century baseball in the Quaker city. A valuable addition to the history of American baseball, it will be an asset for serious scholars of the game as well as an informative read for anyone interested in Philadelphia society and sport”—Journal of Sport History
  • “entertaining and informative…Shiffert chronicles Philadelphia’s role in the early development of American baseball…[and] guides the reader through the rapid professionalization of the game”—Pennsylvania Legacies: The Newsmagazine of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania
  • “well researched…the biograph[ical information] alone makes for fascinating reading, as does the rise of the Athletics as a power in the game”—Sport Literature Association
  • “Baseball has been, from the very start, a Philadelphia story. While you won’t find Katharine Hepburn or Jimmy Stewart here, you will find Hicks, Hayhurst and Long Levi Meyerle. It is in shedding light on the luminaries lost in the distance that John Shiffert does the game and his readers signal service. Never has anyone written better on the rise of baseball in the Quaker City.”—John Thorn, noted historian and editor of Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game
  • “Baseball in Philadelphia immerses the reader in the intricate, energetic, and colorful world of Quaker City baseball in the 19th century. This wonderfully detailed work is a treat for all who savor the history of our National Pastime.”—David Block, author of Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game
  • “Nobody knows more about Philadelphia baseball than John Shiffert.”—Jim Baker, writer for Baseball Prospectus and
  • “A solid, fullscale treatment.”—Thomas L. Altherr, professor of history, Metropolitan State College of Denver