Harken back to the simpler days of the early 20th Century to witness the career of a baseball lifer. Published in 1935, the offered 1st edition book “Standing the Gaff" by Harry “Steamboat” Johnson chronicles his colorful career as a Southern League umpire. Displaying in nicely kept (VG+) condition with clean appealing covers and moderate discoloration along the spine this vintage volume is signed (“8”) with a personalized salutation and inscription on the flyleaf. No authentication due to costs. More on our website.
The events detailed in this classic memoir took place between 1909-35. Johnson’s nickname is attributed to the resemblance of his voice to a “Mississippi side-wheeler”. One of the book’s fascinating passages details a run in with a dirt flinging Ty Cobb during a 1923 exhibition game. Also featured are several interspersed full-page photo illustrations and a multi-page GoldSmith Sons sporting goods advertising section at rear. The books title symbolizes the toughness required of an umpire to withstand both the taunts and often dangerous flying objects hurled by fans typical to the period of Johnson’s service.
The green cloth cover of this book presents handsomely with bright coloring and bold graphics which include an umpire’s counter and a game scene silhouette. The salutation and inscription read in full as “Best Wishes to Roland Kirkbride, from “Steamboat” Johnson, Umpire Southern League”. Of the few signed copies of this book discovered to be available, the offered example appears to be the finest resulting in a prized acquisition for the historically minded collector.