Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

Baseball in the Garden of Eden
John Thorn

£15.99

Who really invented baseball? Not Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown and Alexander Cartwright. Rather, Daniel Lucius Adams, William Rufus Wheaton, and other fascinating figures buried beneath the falsehoods that have accrued around baseball’s origins. This is the true story of how organized baseball started, how gambling shaped the game from its earliest days, and how it became our national pastime and our national mirror.

Baseball in the Garden of Eden draws on original research to tell how the game evolved from other bat-and-ball games and gradually supplanted them, how the New York game came to dominate other variants, and how gambling and secret professionalism promoted and plagued the game. From a religious society’s plot to anoint Abner Doubleday as baseball’s progenitor to a set of scoundrels and scandals far more pervasive than the Black Sox Fix of 1919, this entertaining book is full of surprises. Even the most expert baseball fan will learn something new with almost every page.

Paperback (21cm x 14cm), 365pp
Simon & Schuster, 2012
ISBN 9780743294041

Biography

JOHN THORN co-created the groundbreaking Total Baseball, the sabermetric classic The Hidden Game of Baseball, and was the chief consultant for Ken Burns’s television series Baseball. He was appointed Official Historian of Major League Baseball in 2011.