From Baseball to Boches

By: Witwer, H.C.

Price: $200.00

Quantity: 1 available

Condition: Very Good+ in Very Good dj

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[a nice sound copy, light shelfwear, gilt spine lettering just a bit rubbed; the jacket is lightly soiled, with tiny tears and minor paper losses at the spine corners, and a small piece torn away at the bottom right corner of the front panel]. (B&W drawings) An epistolary tale, in the vein of Ring Lardner's "You Know Me Al," as Ed. Harmon ("formly the sensation of baseball") quits the Big Leagues -- impulsively, to avoid being shipped out to the minors -- signs up to fight the Germans, and writes humorous semi-literate letters to his pal Joe back home, relating jocular accounts of his experiences en route to, and in, France. (If you're looking for anything about the horrors of trench warfare, this ain't it.) Witwer was a contemporary of Lardner (who was born five years earlier), and followed a not-dissimilar path as a newspaper reporter and writer of short stories, many of them with a sports background (Witwer's were as often about boxing as baseball). He was, if nothing else, incredibly prolific -- according to Wikipedia, at least, he turned out something like 400 published stories over the course of his career. (He also made a lot of money from the movies, both as a scenarist and from adaptations of his stories, the most memorable probably being the "Leather Pushers" series of boxing-themed short films turned out by Universal Pictures between 1922 and 1924, with another series following in 1930, and a further reprise as a feature film in 1940.) The big difference, of course, is that ninety years after their demise (they both died relatively young, just four years apart), people are still reading the perpetually-anthologized Lardner, while Witwer is for all intents and purposes forgotten. Is this fair? You can be the judge. This, the first of his approximately one dozen books, isn't especially rare -- it went through multiple printings, followed by a Grosset & Dunlap edition -- but is hardly ever seen in an original jacket. Baseball-book collectors should note, however, that per McCue (page 118), "there's not much baseball" in it (except for "sort of a game" in the final chapter), despite the title and the fact that each chapter is called an "inning," and that there are nine of them. (In the Eighth Inning, Ed has a personal encounter and conversation with General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing.) Witwer revived the character, back in the States and in pro ball, for a second book, "There's No Base Like Home," published in 1920.

Title: From Baseball to Boches

Author: Witwer, H.C.

Edition: First Edition

Illustrator: Illustrated by F.R. Gruger & Arthur William Brown

Location Published: Boston, Small, Maynard & Company: (c.1918)

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good+ in Very Good dj

Categories: Humor, *NEW ARRIVALS

Seller ID: 26940

Keywords: world war i baseball epistolary novel americana