When we consider how strong a hold the pastime of base ball playing has upon our people, it is a little surprising that more frequent use of the game, as a framework, has not been made by writers of fiction. There are very few Americans, certainly very few of the younger generation, who are not only familiar with the nomenclature and rules of base ball, but are enthusiastic lovers of the sport. Even among the gentler sex, who may be regarded as spectators only of the game, there is to be found much sound information and an intelligent acquaintance with the details of base ball playing; while every hearty and wholesomely taught boy knows everything worth knowing about the game, the famous players, the historic contests, and the notable features of the sport, as practiced in various sections of the republic.
To write an introduction to a story whose slender plot should be threaded on a base ball match seems to be an almost superfluous work. But I am glad that Mr. Brooks has undertaken to illustrate "The National Game" by a story of outdoor life, founded on fact and incidentally introducing personages which are not wholly creatures of his imagination. The tale here told very cleverly gives the reader a glimpse of the ups and downs, the trials and the triumphs of a base ball club. It is written by one who is thoroughly well informed of the things concerning which he gives such vivid pictures, and, while nothing is really needed to popularize the game, I am sure the story will commend itself to every lover of pure and wholesome literature.