Albert G. Spalding's addiction to what he saw as a peculiarly American sport began early on the sandlot in Rockford, Illinois. One of the first professional baseball players and later a manager and club owner, he branched out to become a leading manufacturer of sporting goods. America's National Game, published a few years before his death in 1915, lays out the beginnings of baseball and its advancement while dispensing Spalding's vivid reminiscences and firm opinions. The essential nature of the game, he thought, was warfare. And the opponents took many forms: among them the evil syndicates trying to control the sport, and more inwardly and importantly, the temptations familiar to every young man.Baseball's lasting debt to Spalding becomes clear in Benjamin G. Rader's introduction to this Bison Book edition, which makes America's National Game available in its entirety for the first time in paperback and adds an index.