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John Heylder's 1898 Umpire Diary and Expenses Book from Heydler Family Archive

Item Number 45143

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Long before John Heydler rose to the position of National League president, he began his baseball career as an umpire and a sportswriter. These jobs kept him up close and personal with the national pastime and gave him a solid foundation for his later executive roles. Right from the horse's mouth comes this diary and expense record book that Heydler used to track his travels and experiences in 1898 as a National League umpire. This ancient 8x4 notebook begins with a passage dated 8/13/1898 and proceeds through eight pages covered on both sides with extensive entries. Following are many unused pages and at the back are thirty-plus pages with entries in a type of code. The front cover is hanging on to the cloth binding at the top corner only, otherwise this book remains intact with supple pages and discernible writing. Acquired from the Heydler family archive, Heydler's diary is accompanied by an identifying card with a written notation that reads "Diary & Expenses as League Umpire 1898" on one side, while the other lists some expenses. It's fantastic to note Heydler's self-styled title of "League Umpire", as this book predates the founding of the American League and he had no need to differentiate the NL from the AL.


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