Legendary sportswriter John Kieran begins his foreword to Mickey Cochrane's Baseball: The Fan's Game with these immortal words: "Frankly, this is the best book on baseball that I ever read." Now add in 200-plus autographs from the greatest HOFers and stars of their day and you've got the best book on baseball—PERIOD!
Incredibly, all are vintage fountain-pen signatures that date shortly after the tome's 1939 publication. No ballpoint ink. No markers. Just pure fountain-pen beauties from that most historic era of the Baseball Centennial celebration and the grand opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Not to mention from the tragic, graceful bowing out of Lou Gehrig—who ended his streak on April 30, 1939, yet still mustered the strength to sign here not once but twice! Even better, both Gehrigs are actual single-signed photo examples, appearing on opposite sides of the very same page. Jimmie Foxx is another "single" with tremendous upside and visual splendor. Then there are also non-HOFer autos of the rare and desirable kind, such as Willard Hershberger (d.1940) and Moe Berg. Condition of the 5" x 7-3/4", First Edition copy is VG-EX with an intact dust jacket, and the signature quality is "7-10" overall.
Signatures appearing on the book's first 14 pages: Oral Hildebrand, Ruffing, Buddy Rosar, Spud Chandler, Gomez, Red Rolfe, Tom Henrich, DiMaggio, Combs, Art Jorgens, Johnny Murphy, John Schulte, Arthur Fletcher, Paul Schreiber, Marius Russo, Monte Pearson (clubhouse), Gordon, Babe Dahlgren, Steve Sundra, Doc Painter, Bill Knickerbocker, Charlie Keller, Jimmy Sullivan, Gehrig (clubhouse), Frank Crosetti, Bump Hadley, George Selkirk, Atley Donald (clubhouse), McKechnie, Jimmie Wilson, Simmons, Lew Riggs, Ival Goodman, Bill Myers, Whitey Moore, Willard Hershberger, Gene Thompson, Wally Berger, Milt Shoffner, Lombardi, Frenchy Bordagaray, Harry Craft, Henry Johnson, Bill Werber, Nino Bongiovanni, Dick West, Les Scarsella, John Niggeling, Bucky Walters, Lee Gamble, Frank McCormick, Eddie Joost, Harry Geisel, Hubbard (ump), Steve Basil, George Pipgras, Bill Summers (ump), Red Ormsby, Bill Grieve, John Quinn, McGowan (ump), Earle Brucker, Lena Blackburne, Dario Lodigiani, Les McCrabb, Dick Siebert, Wally Moses, Frank Hayes, Earle Mack, Sam Chapman, Bill Nagel, Fred Chapman, Chubby Dean, Charlie Berry, George Caster, Lynn Nelson, Jimmy Bloodworth, Ferrell, Harris, Charley Gelbert, Jake Early, Taft Wright, Dutch Leonard, Sam West, Buddy Myer, Ossie Bluege, Joe Krakauskas, Mickey Vernon, Mike Martin, George Case, Alex Carrasquel, Pete Appleton, Robert Estabella, Buddy Lewis, Cecil Travis, Al Pitko, Lou Herman, Joe Haynes, Walt Masterson, etc.
Full-page signed photos: Tommy Bridges, Feller, Gomez, Foxx, Mule Haas, Greenberg ("5-6"), DiMaggio ("5"), Mack, McCarthy, DiMaggio ("5"), Gehrig (2 - on back-to-back pages), DiMaggio, Rollie Hemsley, Jimmie Dykes.
Signatures appearing on the last 15 pages: Jim Tabor, John Peacock, Fritz Ostermueller, Lefty Lefebvre, Bosey Berger, Tom Carey, Joe Heving, Tom Daly, Charles Wagner, Roger Cramer, Eldon Auker, Doerr, Danny Galehouse, Joe Vosmik, Cronin, T. Williams, Hal Finney, Moe Berg, Leo Donnenkamp, Duffy, Lefty Weisman, Hal Trosky, Willis Hudlin, Bruce Campbell, Oscar Vitt, Roy Weatherly, Ken Keltner, Skeeter Webb, Frank Pytlak, Oscar Grimes, Jeff Heath, Odell Hale, Mel Harder, Luke Sewell, Joe Dobson, Al Milnar, Paul Sullivan, John Broaca, Harry Eisenstat, Floyd Stromme, Marvin Owen, Jack Hayes, Eric McNair, Gee Walker, Johnnie Marcum, Harry Boyles, John Rigney, Muddy Ruel, Rip Radcliff, Mike Tresh, Tony Rensa, Thornton Lee, Clint Brown, Eddie Smith, Appling, Monte Stratton, Larry Rosenthal, Bill Dietrich, Mike Kreevich, Billy Webb, Dizzy Trout, Jim Walkup, Al Benton, Slick Coffman, Bing Miller, Bo Bell, Pete Fox, Roy Cullenbine, Bill Rogell, Merv Shea, Birdie Tebbetts, Gordon Hinkle, Red Kress, Averill, Barney McKosky, Rudy York, Schoolboy Rowe, Greenberg, Buck Newsom, Bernie McCoy, Denny Carrroll, Myril Hoag, Harland Clift, Fred Haney, John Whitehead, George Gill, Joe Grace, Joe Glenn, George McQuinn, Vernon Kennedy, Roxie Lawson, John Berardino, Fred Hofmann, Chet Laabs, Don Heffner, Bob Harris, etc.
A simply extraordinary Who's Who—whether kept intact for posterity or divided up for profit! Full LOA from JSA.