Milton, Conn: Prindle (by the author), 1890. First. paper. good. Item #2011603
A rare vestige of the early days of baseball. A fragile but fascinating booklet from the earliest years of baseball about the "art" of throwing a zigzag curve. Good, rear cover loose. One staple holding the rest of the pages together. An ad for the "Spalding League Ball" on the rear cover. Published 14 years after the start of the National League, the "senior" major league. We find an 1895 version of this book in the Baseball Hall of Fame, but not this earlier 1890 edition, which we believe is the true first.
The ART Of ZIGZAG CURVE PITCHING. A Book of Instructions for All Classes of Players, Embracing Both Theory and Practice of the Art
Milton, Conn: Published by the Author, 1890. 1st Printing. Printed self-wrappers. Last leaf detached. A Good copy of this rare survivor.. 8 pp. 5-7/8" x 3-1/2" The booklet attempts to explain the physics behind not just a regular curve ball, but a zig-zag or compound curve ball. The author explains at length the techniques and rotational dynamics of throwing a ball so that it not only spins around its axis, but also rotates around the poles, to acheive a tricky wobbling pitch... "in order to produce a compound curve the direction of the motion of the rotation bust be reversed or changed." I know of no pitcher today who employs such a pitch.
OCLC records just two institutional holdings of this work [Baseball HOF; BYU].