New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1880. First edition. Hardcover. Near Fine. Original green cloth, lettered in black and gilt and illustrated in the same fashion. The front panel shows a baseball player about to pitch, he wears no glove, and he is standing in the middle of a ball diamond. The gilt figure on the spine shows a player, bat in hands, about to swing. Everything about this volume is original. It has been lovingly preserved for over 130 years. The first novel to feature a baseball team. There were some works earlier than this, mostly set in colleges, which featured some baseball play, but this novel, with the baseball image on the front panel, is exclusively about two baseball teams, the titled Fairport Nine and the White Bears. The second and final chapters of the book feature games between these two teams. Also, and quite remarkable, the Fairport Nine is an integrated team, featuring a young man by the name of Sam Black, who plays left field. The illustrated frontis shows six of the team members, including Sam. There is a tissue guard to protect the title page. Six pages of ads at the rear are also present. There is some very minor wear at the corners and edges but overall this copy is very nice and, to repeat, completely original. A lovely copy in all respects and a necessary volume for a baseball collection.