Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe - And Made It America's Game

Overview

In October of 1888, Albert Goodwill Spalding—baseball star, sporting-goods magnate, promotional genius, serial fabulist—departed Chicago on a trip that would take him and two baseball teams on a journey clear around the globe. Their mission, closely followed in the American and international press, had two (secret) goals: to fix the game in the American consciousness as the purest expression of the national spirit, and to seed markets for Spalding's products near and far. In the process, these first cultural ...

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Spalding's World Tour: The Epic Adventure that Took Baseball Around the Globe - And Made it America's Game

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Overview

In October of 1888, Albert Goodwill Spalding—baseball star, sporting-goods magnate, promotional genius, serial fabulist—departed Chicago on a trip that would take him and two baseball teams on a journey clear around the globe. Their mission, closely followed in the American and international press, had two (secret) goals: to fix the game in the American consciousness as the purest expression of the national spirit, and to seed markets for Spalding's products near and far. In the process, these first cultural ambassadors played before kings and queens, visited the Coliseumand the Eiffel Tower, and took pot shots with their baseballs at the great Sphinx in Egypt. This expedition to lands both exotic and familiar is chronicled with dash and wit in Mark Lamster's Spalding's World Tour, a book filled with larger-than-life characters often competing harder for love and money off the baseball diamond than for runs on it. Getting themselves into scrapes and narrowly escaping international incident all around the globe, these innocents abroad gave the world an early peek at the American century just around the corner. For anyone interested in the history of the game—or the history of brand marketing—Spalding's World Tour hits the sweet spot.

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Editorial Reviews

Boston Globe
A bizarre journey filled with events, often comic, all fascinating. Lamster presents the story in engaging, witty prose.
Business Week
Engaging business and sports history... This narrative drawn from [baseball’s] formative years is as timely as this morning's box scores.
Los Angeles Times
"Lamster brings back a little-known tale of grandeur and showmanship from baseball's distant past."
New York Times Book Review
Rollicking... Lamster's attention to on-and-off-the-field details is as rigorous as Spalding's itinerary...Lamster incorporates a wonderful cast of supporting characters.
Newsweek
"A riveting story of baseball and the man... who brought it into the 20th century and made a fortune."
Rob Neyer
"A wonderfully entertaining book."
ESPN.com
Wall Street Journal
"Brings to life a remarkable episode in the history of commerce, celebrity and sport...A welcome change of pace."
Washington Post Book World
Reintroduces a fascinating and long-overlooked chapter in baseball history...and offers a glimpse at an early chapter in...globalization.
WasWatching.com
"Educational and entertaining... I feel smarter having read it-and recommend it to anyone...looking for a good book."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586483111
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 4/3/2006
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Lamster is senior acquisitions editor at Princeton Architectural Press in New York. His writing on baseball, history, design, and architecture has appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, Metropolis, I.D., and Architecture. Lamster lives in New York City and is an active member of the Society of American Baseball Research.

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