Richter's History and Records of Base Ball
, the American Nation's Chief Sport, originally published in 1914, is the most comprehensive and ambitious among the early books about baseball. "This volume," Richter writes, "is designed to supply the growing need of a concise, yet complete, record of our National Game" and "to serve this purpose in such a form as to make it valuable, possibly indispensable, as a book of special information, of ready reference, and of general interest to all love's and students of the great game."
The book is divided into three parts. Part I covers the origins of baseball, the first professional league, the National and American leagues, the American Association, baseball tours, warring leagues, the World Series, and the minor leagues. Part II includes team and individual performance records through 1914, Richter's takes on the great pitchers of early baseball, and brief commentary on two classic poems inspired by the game. Part III includes the history and text of the first National Agreement, the development of baseball playing rules, and information on the pioneering players, owners, executives, and writers.