Spalding, Albert G. (1850-1915)

views updated

Spalding, Albert G. (1850-1915)

After fully dedicating his career to baseball in 1871, Albert Goodwill Spalding went on to become pro baseball's first recorded 200 game winner, dividing his time between the Boston Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings. As first captain/manager and later as president/owner of the White Stockings, Spalding helped mold Chicago into the baseball dynasty of the 1880s. Yet, it was as an owner that Spalding had his greatest cultural impact. In 1876, he helped found the National League and became its president in 1901. Through such actions, he was key in establishing baseball as a viable and acceptable commercial enterprise. Spalding helped to solidify professional baseball as a business. In addition to his baseball duties, in 1876 he and his brother opened their first sporting goods store in Chicago, the beginning of the Spalding sporting goods chain.

—S. Paul O'Hara

Further Reading:

Bartlett, Arthur Charles. Baseball and Mr. Spalding: The History and Romance of Baseball. New York, Farrar, Straus and Young, 1951.

Levine, Peter. A.G. Spalding and the Rise of Baseball: The Promise of American Sport. New York, Oxford University Press, 1985.