Baseball Americana : treasures from the Library of Congress by Harry Katz

   Jason  Review by:  Jason

Title:  Baseball Americana : treasures from the Library of Congress

Author:  Harry Katz

Collection:  Adult Non-Fiction

Baseball Americana is a rich visual history of America’s past time told through the Library of Congress’s extensive collection of vintage baseball artifacts including baseball cards, photographs, and print ads. It’s really interesting to see photographs and ads depicting baseball around the time of the Civil War. One of my favorite pictures is of a scanned page from Hanley’s Baseball Book of Reference from 1868 which shows a diagram of the baseball diamond. It’s still 90 feet from base to base like it was close to 150 years ago.

Another highlight is of the first baseball cards that were originally put in packs of cigarettes for promotional purposes. Some of the more famous cards including Allen & Ginter’s, Gypsy Queen, and Goodwin & Company are all found in this book. The artistry on the cards, especially the Allen & Ginter’s ones, are really amazing.

The book concludes with a look at post-World War II baseball with artifacts and ads depicting hall of famers Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron, Bob Feller, Mickey Mantle, Wille Mays, Sandy Koufax, and Roberto Clemente among others.  It’s really refreshing that the Library of Congress has all of this great baseball and American history archived in DC. Even if you are not really a fan of baseball, but have an interest in vintage photography or Americana, then I would highly recommend checking this book out.

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