Thorn: Preston Orem’s “A New Major League” on the origin of the American Association

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on June 6, 2019:

Before I return next week to my “Pictorial Chronology of Baseball in the 19th Century,” I’d like to present an account of how the National League came to be challenged by a rival in 1881–1882.The account is printed verbatim from a scarce yet invaluable set of ten booklets published by Preston D. Orem of Altadena, California in 1966–1967. Each of the ten spiral-bound copies was titled Baseball from the Newspaper Accounts and was devoted to a single year in baseball, from 1882 through 1891. This period coincides precisely with the tenure of the American Association, which Major League Baseball recognizes as the first of several big-league rivals to the National League, founded in 1876. (The others are the Union Association of 1884, the Players’ League of 1890, the American League of 1901 to date, and the Federal League of 1914–1915.)

I apologize in advance if my inability to locate the deceased author’s heirs to secure permission to reprint gives offense to any rightsholder; copyright law makes provision for fair use of “orphan works” and I have relied upon that understanding. Of course I invite any member of the Orem family to correct my view. In the absence of such correction, it is my intention to publish, over time, the entirety of Orem’s uniquely conceived opus.

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Originally published: June 7, 2019. Last Updated: June 7, 2019.