The Card. London: Printed for the Maker and sold by J. Newberry, 1755.
2 volumes. 12mo (160 x 91 mm). , xvi, , 264, ; , 306,  pp. Two engraved plates, one being a partially hand-colored frontispiece. Period gilt-ruled calf. Small adherences from frontispiece to title, marginal repair to frontispiece, vol 1 G12 with tear from margin and loss of several letters, rebacked with old spines laid down.
FIRST EDITION, THOUGHT TO CONTAIN THE EARLIEST SURVIVING USE OF THE WORD "BASE-BALL" TO SIGNIFY THE GAME AS WE KNOW IT. The Card is Kidgell's only novel, a rambling and satirical work, foreshadowing Tristram Shandy. The mention of baseball occurs in the second chapter. Sir James Evelyn's family is gathered to hear tidings of young Archibald, currently running riot in Paris: "Begged for information, the father allows to Mrs Morton that Archibald is alive and well, but 'not so good altogether as he could have wished.' She replies, 'Dear Sir James Evelyn how could you terrify us to such a degree?' Upon this, the Silence became for some short Space of Time universal; and the younger Part of the Family, perceiving Papa not inclined to enlarge upon the matter, retired to an interrupted Party at Base-Ball (an infant Game, which as it advances in its Teens, improved into Fives, and in its State of Manhood, is called Tennis.)" According to Peter Howard's records, David Block (author of Baseball Before We Knew It) identifies this as the earliest surviving use of term. "Base-ball" had appeared in A Little Pretty Pocket-Book in 1744 but no copies of the first edition survive so it is only known to us from the 10th and later editions (1760 and subsequent).
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