What's the difference between an ornithologist and an ornerythologist?
New York City
I read with great interest the article on boys' baseball books by Robert Cantwell (A Sneering Laugh with the Bases Loaded, April 23). There is one important correction, however, that I should like to make.
The first baseball novel, as well as the first piece of baseball fiction to appear in print, was The Fairport Nine, a clothbound work written by Noah Brooks and published by Charles Scribner's Sons in New York in 1880. Its narrative described in some detail two games played between the team of Fairport, Me. and their rowdy crosstown rivals, the White Bears. The remainder of the book was devoted to the various adventures and misadventures of the Fairport boys.
ANTON GROBANI, D.D.S.
Silver Spring, Md.
?Baseball Writer Brooks narrowly missed being present at a fateful final inning in U.S. history. A close friend of Abraham Lincoln, he became the President's personal secretary at the end of the Civil War. On an afternoon in April of 1865, Lincoln casually suggested that his old friend and aide join him at Ford's theater for an evening of relaxation. Because he had a cold, Brooks declined the invitation. Lincoln found other companions to join him at the show from which he never returned.—ED.
As a boy I read probably all of Barbour's and Heyliger's stories and enjoyed them very much. I think they probably influenced my decision to become a coach and to continue on in the field of physical education and athletics.