In 1917, as part of the Spalding Company's Athletic Library, How To Play First Base was published. The author listed was Hal Chase, presumably assisted by a ghost writer. It is an ironic piece, as Chase notes Charles Comiskey's playing career and, at the close of the book, advises young players against too much late night activity (never a problem for him). Portions are excerpted following ...

ADVANCE IN FIRST BASE PLAY In none of the seven regular fielding positions on a ball team has there been so marked and distinctive an advance in scientific system of play during the development of the sport as in the defensive methods of first base play. The past thirty years have witnessed many changes in the game ... It is also well recognized that there has been a wonderful advance in the work of the man behind the bat, due largely to the introduction of large mitts, masks, protectors and shin guards. But of the seven other positions, first base alone has been most highly developed In the old days, when professional baseball first began its long and glorious career, the requirements for playing the initial sack were not numerous. The principal requisites were height, in order that the fielder might be able to reach high throws and pull them down, and batting ability. The first baseman was expected to do little but catch thrown balls on assists from the infielders. He played close to the base, covered only a comparatively small territory and speed was not insisted on in his case. Charles Comiskey... for many years owner of the Chicago White Sox, was the first man to attempt a more widely diversified defensive play. Comiskey ... discovered that he could help his club immensely by taking a position much farther away from the bag than had ever been attempted before. He was the first guardian of the position to play what is called a deep field. He showed that first base need not be a perfunctory position, involving merely the catching of thrown balls, but that the first baseman could cut off many ground balls by covering a wider territory than had been the custom up to his time.

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