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    1907 "History of Colored Base Ball" by Sol White--The First and Most Important Negro Leagues Published Book. It would be four decades before the author's dream became a reality, but his words are no less inspiring today, written an eloquence one might expect to have come from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. "Baseball is a legitimate profession," penned King Solomon "Sol" White, born just three years after the close of the American Civil War, "It should be taken seriously by the colored player. An honest effort of his great ability will open the avenue in the near future wherein he may walk hand in hand with the opposite race in the greatest of all American games, baseball."

    This exceedingly rare text stands as the sole published record of the earliest days of Negro League ball, a history that would have been fully buried beneath the sands of time if not for White's ambitious creation. It is believed that no more than a dozen examples of the softcover volume have survived to present day, and this specimen exhibits a partially restored cover and opening two pages but otherwise a complete and unharmed balance of 128 pages within. These pages are profusely illustrated with photographic portraits and team shots of pioneers from Rube Foster to Grant "Home Run" Johnson to Nat Strong, literally dozens of images interspersed with prose and statistics found nowhere else in public records.

    The result is a truly inspirational volume of dignity and achievement in the face of great injustice, and one can't help but wonder who the original owner might have been, and how the text may have shaped his life. Again and again we have found truth in the notion of the history of baseball as a microcosm of the history of America, and certainly that truth holds here.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 17
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