Dismantling the notion that Abner Doubleday established the modern game of baseball, Jay Martin makes a bold case for A.J. Cartwright (1820–92), an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and avid ballplayer who codified the rules of the sport and promoted its rapid spread throughout the country. Also the biographer of Nathanael West, Henry Miller, and John Dewey, Martin revisits the original arguments behind the claims for Doubleday and Cartwright, and throws into sharp relief the competing ambitions of these figures during a time of aggressive westward expansion and unparalleled opportunities for individual reinvention.
"So engaging I read it in two sittings. This book is by the far the most comprehensive record of Alexander Joy Cartwright's life yet available."—Robert Hamblin