Friday, September 9, 2016

Book of the Day: Christie Walsh invented Babe Ruth


The Atlantic has glad news for baseball fans: 1400 pages of Babe Ruth archival materials are now available on the Internet:
Ruth spent his life dedicated to baseball. So it’s only fitting that he is the face of a new effort to digitize a massive collection of archives from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The institution launched its project this week with the release of a trove of Ruth’s scrapbooks from the 1920s and 1930s. The scrapbooks—totaling 25 volumes and more than 1,400 pages—were assembled by Ruth’s manager, Christy Walsh, and contain newspaper clippings, box scores, cartoons, letters, and other artifacts from Ruth’s career.

Up until now, the scrapbooks have only been available to researchers—in-person and by appointment in Cooperstown, New York. The books have never been on display. The digitized collection will expand in the coming months to include rare photos of Jackie Robinson, letters written by Ty Cobb, and other archival artifacts.

“The greatest barriers to digitizing the vast majority of history are funding and lack of understanding about what digitization involves,” said Kristen Gwinn-Becker, the CEO and founder of HistoryIT, the archival company that orchestrated the Hall of Fame’s digitization project. “That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive to digitize as much as possible and, more importantly, to do so in such a way that makes it truly accessible.”

Henry Bemis Books celebrates the occasion with an offer of this rare book by Ruth’s manager and Svengali, Christie Walsh:

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Christy Walsh, Baseball’s Greatest Lineup (A.S. Barnes & Co., 1st ed., 1952). LOC 52-8286. A cartoonist and sportswriter, Walsh saw the future of baseball one day, and its name was Babe Ruth. He dogged Ruth to see him for two years, and when he finally got in, he asked Ruth how much he’d been paid for a newspaper article. “Five dollars.” “I can get you a hundred,” Walsh replied, and for the next 27 years he made Ruth a wealthy man through better contract negotiations and product endorsements. Walsh was the first great sports superagent, representing the cream of American sports- Ty Cobb, Knute Rockne and Lou Gehrig, among others. Baseball’s Greatest Lineup is a collection of profiles of sportswriters’ picks for baseball’s greatest, 1900 to 1950. Thoughtful, funny, the book makes you think Walsh invented fantasy baseball as well. Hardcover, no dust jacket, very good condition. Autographed with a Walsh caricature of himself, for Wilton Garrison, longtime sports editor of The Charlotte Observer. HBB price: $100.

Henry Bemis Books is one man’s attempt to bring more diversity and quality to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg market of devoted readers starved for choices. Our website is at Henry Bemis Books is also happy to entertain reasonable offers on items in inventory; for pricing on this or others items, kindly private message us. Shipping is always free; local buyers are welcome to drop by and pick up their purchases at our location off Peachtree Road in Northwest Charlotte if they like.

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