[First Edition] Small octavo, original gray cloth. Volume begins with a handwritten presentation page stating that the book was intended to be a gift to the widow of a gentleman named Oric Bates, a Harvard graduate who became a leading author and archaeologist of Egyptian history. But the collecting intrigue here is the signature of one of Bates' former classmates -- William Clarence Matthews. Born in Selma, Alabama, Matthews was educated at the famous Tuskeegee Institute before enrolling at Harvard, where he led the baseball team in batting average for the 1903, 1904 and 1905 seasons. In the summer of 1905, Matthews joined the Burlington (VT) team of the Northern League, making him the only African-American in any white professional league. Talks of him joining the Boston Beaneaters of the National League arose around this time but were quickly stifled, and it would be another four decades before Robinson would complete the task. Matthews would not live to see it, passing away at the age of fifty-one in 1928. Matthews' signature appears in 9/10 black fountain pen ink among the several dozen mourners. Extremely Rare.
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