Before the onset of professional baseball, there existed a myriad of teams and players going back to the 1840s. The early years centered around an organization known as the National Association of Base Ball Players. This group, the antecedents of which date to 1857, governed the world of baseball until the formation of the first all-professional league in 1871. This book is the definitive statistical reference to that organization, from its humble beginnings through its explosive growth after the Civil War, culminating with its coast-to-coast inclusion of several hundred amateur and professional clubs. Relying for the most part on primary sources, the author has included introductory essays for each year, complete team statistics, every game score, and individual batting and pitching statistics for all players.