I just bought this book as titled: Baseball's Book of Firsts.
An immediate qualifier is needed. I was at the book store looking for a high school graduation present for my most favorite teenager (other than my own daughter) and prior to checking out I stumbled by a bargain bin. As any baseball card show goer knows, we stop at all bargain bins anywhere and everywhere and lo and behold I found this most interesting book.
This book is NOT a novel of any sort, it has more space allocated to the photos than words and is filled with little appreciated "facts" describing more than 150 of baseball firsts. My kind of book.
A historical presentation as many of baseball's first were prior to the turn of the 20th century but author Lloyd Johnson does a very nice job of bringing in many "modern" day firsts as well.
There are only three chapters: 1 - Players; 2 - Leagues and Teams; 3 - The Game.
A couple of interesting (at least to me) firsts are:
The first Manager to endorse a nutrient drink ? answer: Charles Comisky in the 1880's as he led the St Louis Browns to four straight pennants with this unknown secret clubhouse drink.
The first player to wear his birthday on his back ? answer: Carlos May in 1968 wore uniform # 17 (his birthday is May 17).
The first player to wear a batting helmet ? answer: Willie Wells, a Negro League Hall of Fame shortstop, put on a miners helmet in 1905 to protect himself as he was known to lean his upper body (and head) directly over the plate in the strike zone.
This book has so many tidbits of baseball lore (firsts) that I just could not pass it up as I headed to the check out line. A bargain bin book purchase find at $ 1.99 was a baseball first for me.
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