Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) was a baseball player and manager who was instrumental in forming the National League. In 1876 he joined the Chicago team as pitcher and manager and served as team president from 1882 to 1891. He published a baseball guide and wrote a history of the game. He and his brother in 1876 founded the sporting goods firm that still bears his name. Collection contains scorebooks, correspondence, scrapbooks, diaries, account books, and photographs relating to baseball and other sports. Baseball club records include scorebooks, 1845-1870, for games played by early New York City and Cincinnati ball clubs; scrapbooks of correspondence, 1846-1876, and club books, 1854-1868, containing lists of members, minutes and records of the board of officers. Henry Chadwick materials consist of scorebooks, 1858-1907; scrapbooks, 1858-1908; and diaries, 1873-1907, kept by Chadwick, a sports writer and "Father of Baseball" who was instrumental in the development of modern playing rules and the system of scoring. A.G. Spalding scrapbooks, 1874-1911, contain clippings about baseball, his book, America's National Game, and his baseball world tour in 1888-1889. Harry Wright materials include correspondence, 1865-1894; notebooks and account books, 1860-1893; and scorebooks, 1883-1892. Wright was a baseball player and manager responsible for organizing the first professional baseball team. Collection also includes photographs of teams and individual players in the 1860s and 1870s.
Biographical/historical: Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915), baseball player, manager, and sporting goods manufacturer, was born in Byron, Illinois. He began his career in baseball playing for the Forest City team of Rockford, Illinois. In 1871 he joined Harry Wright's newly-organized Boston team. As pitcher and team captain, Spalding led the team to four consecutive National Association championships, 1872-1875. He was instrumental in the formation of the National League and in 1876 joined its Chicago team as pitcher and manager. From 1882-1891 he served as team president. From 1888-1889 he took the Chicago players and an All-American team on a world tour to promote baseball internationally through a series of exhibition games. To increase the popularity of baseball at home he published the annual Spalding's Official Baseball Guide and wrote a history of baseball, America's National Game (1911). The sporting goods firm which still bears his name was founded by Spalding and his brother in 1876.
Content: The Albert G. Spalding Collection contains over 3,000 books and pamphlets as well as numerous periodicals, scrapbooks, photographs, and original drawings on baseball and other sports. A catalogue of the entire collection was published in the Bulletin of The New York Public Library (1922) Volume 26, pp. 86-127. The books and pamphlets can be found in the General Research Division of the N.Y.P.L.; the photographs and drawings in the Art, Prints and Photographs Division. The materials belonging to the Manuscripts and Archives Division include Baseball Club records; Henry Chadwick Papers; Albert G. Spalding scrapbooks; and Harry Wright Papers.
The Baseball Club records include scorebooks for games played by the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn and Jamaica, New York, 1855-1868 and the Cincinnati Base Ball Club, 1868-1870. Records of the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York include scorebooks, 1845-1866, as well as scrapbooks of correspondence, 1846-1876, and club books, 1854-1868, containing lists of members, minutes of meetings, and records of the board of officers.
The Henry Chadwick Papers consist of scorebooks, scrapbooks, and diaries kept by the renowned sports writer and "Father of Baseball" who was instrumental in the development of modern playing rules and the system of scoring in baseball. The scorebooks, 1858-1907, contain completed scorecards for professional and amateur baseball games, including some college games. Additional materials such as newspaper clippings, rules, National Association annual meeting minutes, and photographs have been pasted in as well. There are also four score books for cricket games played by American teams, amateur and professional, from 1856 to 1882.
The majority of the scrapbooks, 1858-1908, contain newspaper reports on baseball games, including Chadwick's own columns. Other material found in the scrapbooks include notes and drafts of his writings on sports, souvenir programs, admission tickets, and other ephemera. Of particular note are the volume of Chadwick's correspondence and draft manuscripts (Vol. 26) and the scrapbook containing material added after Chadwick's death regarding the first French baseball team (Vol. 19). The remaining volumes contain newspaper clippings on cricket and other sports.
Chadwick's diaries are pocket and desk diaries, 1873-1907, used as scrapbooks for clippings on baseball games, including box scores, statistics, league schedules, and season summaries.
The Albert G. Spalding scrapbooks, 1874-1911, contain clippings on baseball, on Spalding's book America's National Game and in particular, on Spalding's baseball world tour, 1888-1889. The latter include ephemera collected on the trip, such as menus, invitations, game schedules, etc. Volume 5 contains letters thanking Spalding for complimentary copies of his book.
The Harry Wright Papers consist of correspondence, notebooks, account books, and scorebooks owned by the famous baseball player and manager responsible for organizing the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team. His correspondence, 1865-1894, is divided into letterpress copies of his own letters, 1871-1885, and scrapbooks of letters to him. Of the original four volumes of incoming letters donated to the library, only the volume 1878-1884 remains in the collection.
Wright's notebooks and account books, 1860-1893, contain notes, diary entries, personal and team expenses, box office accounts, game scores, notes on players, and other information kept by Wright as team manager. The scorebooks contain scores and statistics for games played, 1883-1892, while he was manager of the National League's Philadelphia team.
Boxed separately is a small number of photographs of baseball teams and individual players, 1860s-1870s, which were removed from the Chadwick scorebooks and Spalding scrapbooks. Most of the photographs in the Spalding Collection are housed in the Art, Prints, and Photographs Division.
Content: Printed books and pamphlets kept in General Research Division, New York Public Library. Most photographs located in Photography Collection, New York Public Library.
Additional physical form: Cincinnati Red Stockings scorebooks and A.G. Spalding scrapbooks available on microfilm; New York Public Library. Chadwick scrapbooks available on microfilm; New York Public Library. Chadwick diaries, 1873-1903, available on microfilm; New York Public Library. Knickerbocker Baseball Club materials available on microfilm; New York Public Library. Harry Wright correspondence, 1871-1885, available on microfilm; New York Public Library. Harry Wright notebooks and account books, 1860-1871, available on microfilm; New York Public Library.