The Father of Professional Base Ball
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About the Book
“Every magnate in the country is indebted to [Harry Wright] for the establishment of baseball as a business, and every patron for fulfilling him with a systematic recreation. Every player is indebted to him for inaugurating an occupation in which he gains a livelihood, and the country at large for adding one more industry to furnish employment”—The Reach Guide (1896).
This full-length biography resurrects perhaps baseball’s foremost-unrecognized legend, “The Father of Professional Base Ball,” Hall of Famer Harry Wright. The son of a premier cricketer, Sam Wright, Harry converted (together with his Hall of Fame brother George) to baseball after emigrating to America from England. Harry Wright went on to become one of baseball’s most successful players, managers, and innovators. Among his lasting contributions to the game were not only the implementation of spring training, doubleheaders, and the modern uniform, but the advent of professionalism, which contemporaries contended never would have been successfully established without him.
Drawing on contemporary sources including his own papers, this book covers all of Wright’s life: his arrival in America; his experiences with the undefeated Cincinnati Red Stockings of 1869–70; his relationship with his wives and children; his experiences in Boston, Providence, and Philadelphia; his death at age 60 in 1895; and his election to the Hall of Fame in 1953.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2003
Table of Contents
Author’s Note 5
1. A Base Ball Edison 7
2. The Queen City 29
3. Dynasty in the Rough 84
4. Uncle Harry 132
Appendix A: The Cincinnati Red Stockings’ 1868 Club Song 175
Appendix B: The Chronology of Harry Wright’s Managerial Career 177
Book Reviews & Awards
“monumental…long overdue”—Sports Collectors Digest.