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Beadle's Dime Baseball Player



Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player; a Compendium of the Game, comprising Elementary Instructions of this American Game of Ball: together with the Revised Rules and Regulations for 1860; Rules for the Formation of Clubs; Names of the Officers and Delegates to the General Convention, &c.

On the 26th of May, 1860, there appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper an advertisement of the first issue of Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player. It was published by Irwin P. Beadle & Co., of 141 William Street.

The booklet is 5 7/8 by 3 5/8 inches in size, has 40 pages, and is enclosed in brown covers (Fig. 136). The main portion of the title occupies 2/5 of the available space on the front wrapper and on the title page. Beneath the name "Beadle's" comes the word "Dime" in large outline letters curved above a cut of the reverse of a dime. "Base-Ball Player" is below the cut in a straight line. There is no other illustration on the cover. In the book itself, there are two diagrams of baseball fields. The back cover advertises the Dime Novels; the inside pages of the cover give a list of the delegates to the 1860 convention.

† Ia. Beadle's Dime Base Ball Player (for 1861). Revised and Enlarged. Comprising the Proceedings of the National Base Ball Convention; together with the Rules and Regulations for 1861, Base Ball Averages, Rules for the Formation of Clubs, Elementary Instructions, &c., &c. By Henry Chad-wick.

† I have not seen this issue, but James O'Meara, of Dayton, Ohio, has a copy which, he says, is externally identical in size and appearance with the preceding except for the changed wording on the wrapper. It features the minutes of the 4th Annual Convention of December 12, 1860. It was copyrighted by Beadle & Co., 141 William Street, in 1861; evidently early in the year, for it precedes the following booklet, which also was copyrighted in 1861.


Dime Base-Ball Player. Annual Edition for 1862. Comprising the Proceedings of the Fifth Annual Base-Ball Convention; Together with the Rules and Regulations for 1862, & c. Base-Ball Averages for 1861.

Identical in size and general appearance with the preceding except for the wording, which is as given above, and for the cover, which is buff instead of brown (Fig. 137). There are 70 pages plus 8 of advertisements. The inside front cover and both sides of the back carry advertisements of Beadle's publications. Beadle & Co., 141 William Street, are now given as publishers. The booklet was copyrighted in 1861 but did not appear until May 10, 1862.(2) There were no late reprints.

A copy of this annual brought $3 at the O'Brien sale.


Base-Ball Player. Edition for 1864.

Apparently there was no annual Ball Player issued in 1863. No advertisements have been found, and counting back from the first numbered issue, in 1867, the annual for 1864 should be the third, with none in 1863.

The annual for 1864 was copyrighted April 16, 1864, by Beadle & Co., 118 William Street, and probably appeared on the market about the same time. No late reprints were issued. It has a buff cover, and the size is 6 3/8 by 4 1/8 inches, for when Beadle & Co. moved from 141 to 118 William Street early in 1863, all their handbooks were changed from the smaller to the larger size.


Base-Ball Player. Edition for 1865. Beadle & Co., Publishers, 118 William Street.

I have seen this book only with orange or dark lemon covers. The "Beadle's Dime" part of the heading is the same as that of most of the handbooks, and shows the reverse of a dime (Fig. 138). Below this is a cut of six ball players. The booklet gives the proceedings of the 8th Annual Base-Ball Convention, and the new rules adopted, as well as the names of the players on the various teams and the baseball averages for 1864. It was deposited for copyright June 10, 1865, but probably appeared on the market a month earlier. It has 64 pages and one diagram. The pagination begins with the title page as number one. It has stabbed binding, as have all of the Ball Players until the final number in 1881 which is staple bound. The covers carry advertisements inside and on the back, departing from Beadle's usual custom, except for the handbooks, of carrying no advertisements of other things than Beadle's books. In this case, there are advertisements of baseball supplies.


Base-Ball Player. Comprising the Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Base-Ball Convention. Also the Base-Ball Averages for 1865. Annual Edition for 1866. Issued(3) May 23, 1866. Beadle & Co, 118 William Street.

The covers are buff or orange, and of standard size. The last page is numbered 66, but the first page of the text is numbered 5. Counting the title page, we have only two additional pages, so, unless one counts the orange cover pages, the apparent number of pages is not the real. Later Beadle almost invariably began his texts on page 9, regardless of the fact that there was usually only the leaf with the title page preceding this.


Base-Ball Player. 1867. (The longer title will not be repeated in the following descriptions.) Tenth Annual Convention and Averages for 1866.

The Preface to this annual reads: "Our Annual Edition of the Dime Base-Ball Player for 1867 is the sixth of the annual series of issues, the whole edition published since the first copy was printed reaching over fifty thousand." Issued(4) March 29, 1867; Beadle & Co., 118 William Street. 96 pages plus two of advertisements. Only by counting the buff or orange front cover as page 1 can the full 96 be obtained.

Beadle evidently discovered that fielders do not belong back of the catcher; consequently they were cut out of the engraving on the front wrapper, although the traces of their former presence are still to be seen in this and all subsequent issues of the Ball Player (Fig. 139).


Base-Ball Player. 1868. Seventh Annual Edition. Eleventh Annual Convention Proceedings and Averages for 1867. Issued(5) March 28, 1868. Beadle & Co., 118 William Street.


Base-Ball Player. 1869. Eighth Annual Edition. Proceedings of the Twelfth Annual Base-Ball Convention and Base-Ball Averages for 1868.

Deposited for copyright March 29, 1869, and issued(6) the same day. Beadle & Co., 98 William Street.

With the change from 118 to 98 William Street, Beadle dropped the cut of a dime from the wrappers, as he did in all of his handbooks at the same time, and replaced the former heading with the words: "1868. Beadle's Dime Series. 1868," in a straight line across the top of the wrapper. (Fig. 140). The final page is number 100. Orange wrapper, unnumbered title leaf, unnumbered first page of text. The next page is given the number 8.


Base-Ball Player. 1870. Ninth Annual Edition. Proceedings of the Thirteenth Annual Convention and Averages for 1869.

Advertised (7) April 23, 1870. 99 pages and one blank, but the first page of text is numbered 7. Beadle & Co., 98 William Street.

The wrapper is very similar to the preceding except that the type faces are somewhat different.


Base-Ball Player. 1871. Tenth Annual Edition. Proceedings of the Last Annual Convention and Club Records for 1870.

Copyrighted March 29, 1871, and advertised February 25.(8) Beadle & Co., 98 William Street. 100 pages, beginning however on page 7.


Base-Ball Player. 1872. Eleventh Annual Edition.

Proceedings of the March Convention of 1872, and Official Record and Club Averages of 1871.

Advertised(9) April 6, 1872. Beadle & Co., 98 William Street. 100 pages plus a page of advertisements. First page is numbered 9.


Base-Ball Player. 1873. Twelfth Annual Edition.

Club Averages for 1872.

Advertised April 5, 1873.(10) Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street. 99 pages plus one of advertisements and two blank, but the first page of text is numbered 9. The original title with the cut of a dime reappears with this number and continues to the end (Fig. 141).


Base-Ball Player. 1874. Thirteenth Annual Edition.

Club Averages for 1873.

Advertised(11) April 18, 1874. Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street. 86 pages, beginning with page 9.


Base-Ball Player. 1875. Fourteenth Annual Edition.

Batting averages for 1874.

Advertised March 27, 1875.(12) Beadle & Adams, Publishers. 86 pages, beginning on page 9. Four pages of advertisements in colors of baseball belts, caps, and socks, and three cover pages in black, all by Peck & Snyder, once famous for their sporting goods.


Base-Ball Player. 1876. Fifteenth Annual Edition. Centennial Edition. Professional Club Records for 1875, and Batting and Pitching Averages.

Advertised April 1, 1876.(13) 86 pages, beginning with page 9, plus four pages of advertisements in color. Sporting goods advertisements on the cover pages also. Covers have been seen in buff as well as in orange. Beadle & Adams, Publishers, 98 William Street.


Base-Ball Player, 1877. Sixteenth Annual Edition.

Club Records for 1876.

Advertised April 21, 1877.(14) Beadle & Adams, Publishers, 98 William Street. Covers occur in both buff and orange.


Base-Ball Player. 1878. Seventeenth Annual Edition. League and International Championship Records for 1877.

Advertised(15) March 23, 1878. Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street. 84 pages plus four in colors advertising sporting goods. Wrappers occur in both buff and orange.


Base-Ball Player for 1879. Eighteenth Annual Edition. Containing the League and National Club Averages for 1878.

Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street. Advertised(16) May 17, 1879. Buff and orange wrappers. 68 pages.


Base-Ball Player for 1880. Twentieth Annual Edition [sic]. Containing the Revised Code of Rules, also the Records of the League and National Championship Contests.

Advertised April 24, 1880.(17) 66 pages, beginning on page 9, but in this annual there are four preliminary pages besides the title page, namely, a diagram of a baseball field, a picture of George Wright, and two pages of Preface.

There are several errors in this booklet. In the first place, this is not the 20th Annual, if the preceding 18 volumes are correctly numbered, and secondly, the statement in the Preface that the first edition appeared in the spring of 1861 is incorrect, for it appeared in the spring of 1860, and apparently none was issued in 1861.

There are portraits of Albert Spalding and Joe Start, besides the portrait of George Wright. Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street, were the publishers. Covers are found in both buff and orange.


Base-Ball Player for 1881. Twenty-first Annual Edition. Batting and Pitching Averages and League Club Records for 1880. 64 pages.

Wrappers occur in both buff and orange. Advertised April 30, 1881.(18) This should be marked the Twentieth Annual. It was published by Beadle & Adams, 98 William Street. In the preface of the preceding number the statement was made that hereafter there would be issued with each annual portraits of various ball players. This was not done, however, for there is none in the annual for 1881, which was the last one of the series issued. There is no indication in the preface of this volume that the series was to close — in fact, the plans for future annuals were mentioned. Henry Chadwick, however, who had edited all of the volumes to and including that for 1880, is not given as the editor of the present booklet, and it may be that when he went over to Spaulding to edit his Base-Ball Guide, it was thought best to discontinue this series.


Beadle's Dime Baseball Player


2 Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, XIV, 1862, No. 341, 48. Harper's Weekly. VI, 1862, No. 280, 304.
3 New York Tribune. "This morning." May 23, 1866.
4 Ibid., March 29, 1867. "Out today."
5 Ibid., March 28, 1868. "Ready this morning."
6 Ibid., March 29, 1869.
7 Saturday Journal, I, No. 6, April 23, 1870.
8 Ibid., I, No. 50.
9 Ibid., III. No. 108. "Now ready."
10 Ibid., IV, No. 160. "Just published."
11 Ibid., V, No. 214. "New."
12 Ibid., VI, No. 263.
13 Ibid., VII, No. 316.
14 Saturday Journal, VIII, No. 371.
15 Ibid., IX, No. 419. "Now ready."
16 The Star Journal, X. No. 479.
17 Ibid., XI, No. 528.
18 Ibid., XII, No. 581.
† Correction made as per Volume 3.
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