Purportedly written by the novel’s main character, baseball player Henry W. Wiggen, author Mark Harris only attributes himself with “Punctuation freely inserted and spelling greatly improved.” Unlike other novels about baseball, Harris endeavors to make the sport itself the central theme of the story, rather than just a setting or a source of symbolism. Even the description of the book on its front flap declares it as having “nothing in common with the sentimental, saccharine and completely improbable sagas” of other baseball books, and the main character as having “nothing in common with Frank Merriwell or Baseball Joe.” Many of these “sentimental” works are also on display in this exhibition. This novel differentiates itself from other popular baseball novels by following the career of a single baseball player from the minor leagues to the World Series, with great attention paid to the accuracy and genuine experiences of the players and the sport.
Mark Harris, 1922-2007
Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1953.
Lehigh University Catalog Record: https://asa.lib.lehigh.edu/Record/10929189