Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/15

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For several years I have been the recipient of frequent letters from admirers of our National Game in all parts of the country, urging me to write a history of Base Ball. For many adequate reasons I have felt impelled to decline these courteous invitations to enter the realms of literary endeavor, where I do not claim to belong.

First of all, the task was gigantic. It involved, under that title, not the writing of a book, but of books; not even the making of a few volumes, but of a library. I had neither time nor inclination for such an undertaking. It meant not only days, and weeks, and months, but years of patient application to a very exacting and not at all exciting line of research among musty records of long-forgotten facts.

I had been looking forward to the time when I might have a change and a rest from some of the active duties of life, and an enterprise involving so much of close personal application, although presenting a very wide divergence from my customary lines of labor, did not promise much in the way of absolute repose.

Recently, however, these requests have come with redoubled frequency and force. It is known that I have acquired possession of the Base Ball archives of Henry Chadwick, Harry Wright and other old-time friends and factors of the game; it is urged that I am duty bound to make public some of the contents of my storehouse of information pertinent to our national pastime, and I have been, importuned to relate some of the reminiscences of