Shieber: A second look at illustrations in ‘Our National Game’

From SABR member Tom Shieber at Baseball Researcher on October 17, 2018:

In early 1887, Liebenroth, Von Auw & Company, publishers of blank books, produced what is now one of the most sought-after of 19th-century baseball collectibles, a scrapbook titled “Our National Game.”

The earliest notice of the scrapbook can be found in the March 3, 1887 issue of “The American Stationer.”

The book was apparently produced in two different sizes, 11″ × 14″ and 12″ × 15″, and contained around two dozen blank pages. The title page features an illustration of a baseball club, and interspersed throughout the rest of the scrapbook are five additional color lithographs depicting baseball action. Each drawing bears its own title: “Home Run, “Foul Ball,” “Wild Pitch,” “Caught Between Bases,” and “Fly Ball.”

On April 17, 1887, the day after both the National League and American Association celebrated their season openers, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle made note of the scrapbook:

A New York publishing firm have [sic] just published a pretty base ball scrap book containing pictures of the base ball grounds at St. George, Staten Island and Washington Park. It is well adapted for baseball picture collections.

The suggestion that the pictures in “Our National Game” depicted actual ballparks was news to me, so I thought I’d take a closer look at the images to see if they really do match up with these ball parks.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 17, 2018. Last Updated: October 17, 2018.