The thing I have really enjoyed about having my own blog is I can read whatever books I feel like and have a purpose for reading them. I have forced myself to get out of my normal comfort zone of baseball autobiographies and look at all the other types of baseball books out there. Today’s book is one of those instances where I get out of my comfort zone and jump deep in to the history of the game that is often forgotten.
Sol White’s Official Base Ball Guide
By Sol White/Gary Ashwill-2014 Summer Game Books
I will be the first to admit my knowledge of the Negro Leagues is weak at best. The information out there on its formative years is somewhat limited Quite honestly the league records were more word of mouth than official statistics. But thankfully due to Sol White’s foresight over 100 years ago, some of the information has been saved for generations to come. There have been a few reprints of this book throughout the decades but Summer Game Books has put a new spin on this classic.
With an introduction by baseball historian Gary Ashwill you take a journey into the almost forgotten history of the early Negro Leagues. Sol White wrote this book with the idea of preserving the history of the league and showcasing its stars. It gives detailed information of the people and teams that made up the early years of the league. From players to owners it gives some in-depth information on a very important time in the formation of the league.
The book contains statistics and advertisements of the time that were included in the initial publication of the guide as well. The thing I found most interesting was that there are only four verified copies of the original publishing of the guide known to exist. You would think that something with the importance of this book and its initial publishing, would have fared the passing years in greater numbers.
If you are trying to learn about the early years of the league this book is a great source of information. You can see what it was really like for an upstart league trying to make a go of it in a time when segregation was the norm. Baseball history buffs will really enjoy getting a glimpse in to this time period and seeing how things have really changed.
You can get this book from the nice folks at Summer Game Books