Sports Books

an offering of out-of-print books on sports, athletics and training, personalities, and the business of sports; mainly of historical interest


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Baseball - Major League Technique and Tactics  by Ethan Allen (1953 Revision) 330 pp., hardcover in fair condition sans dust jacket. Author was former N.Y. Giant and baseball coach at Yale. Any serious baseball player or enthusiast, when reviewing this work, will be reminded of the old saw, "Nothing new under the sun.". The fundamentals are still there ... "Keep your eye on the ball." etc. A pretty good piece of work and a worthwhile addition to or start of a sports library ... for the player and coach / manager.  $10 postpaid in U.S.

Bill Bradley - Life on the Run  by Bill Bradley (1976), 247 pp., paperback, good condition. " ... a description of what it's like to be a professional basketball player (circa 1976); by the former U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate."  -  hcl   $1 + S&H  or  $3 postpaid

University Madison U.S.A.  by Robert E. Gard (1970) 308 pp., hardcover, ex-lib, good condition. " ... a history of one of the liveliest universities." $4 + S&H or $6.25 postpaid in U.S.

The Story of Football in the Western Conference - The Big Nine  by Howard Roberts (1948) 259 pp., hardcover in excellent condition, dust jacket in fair condition. Before the Penn State addition (making the Western Conference the "Big Eleven"), and before the addition of Michigan State University, it was the "Big Nine". [Prior to the 1939 exit by the University of Chicago, it was the "Big Ten". Before that it was the "Big Seven"!] This is the football history of that conference, complete with the football standings of each season from 1896 through 1947. An interesting side light, now almost entirely forgotten, was the unhappiness of West Coast sports writers in late 1946, most of whom wanted Notre Dame and not the Big Nine champion, Illinois, to play in the Rose Bowl. But contracts are contracts and lowly Illinois came out and edged out U.C.L.A. 45 to 14 on January 1, 1947.   $9.50 postpaid in U.S.

The Big Ten   by Kenneth L. (Tug) Wilson and Jerry Brondfield (1967) 496 pp., large format (11.25 h x 8.6w), hardcover, ex-lib, good condition, many illustrations. " ... a history of the Big Ten (now the "11"), year by year, sport by sport, records, highlights, statistics ... a real reference resource." - hcl  $20.68 postpaid in U.S. [It's a very big book & weighs out at 4# net.]

Big Ten Football  (since 1895) - The Thundering Games; Hall of Fame Players and Coaches; Team, Conference, and Bowl Records by John D. McCallum (1976) 318 pp., large format (11.2h x 8.1w) cloth hardcover, excellent condition.  $12.50 postpaid in U.S.

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Some definitions:

    cloth hardcover: covering is actually cloth, a more durable and costly material than paper.

    condition: an estimate of the shape that a book is in roughly (very roughly) conforming to the terms used in the book collecting and trading game. The terms following are in the order of condition from best to worst.

    fine: absolutely pristine and often in the manufacturer's (the bindery's) cellophane wrapper (sealed); not a nick, scuff, water spot, smudge; absolutely no signs of wear or handling; paper is bright white. In other words, just as the book was as it exited the binding process and was handled by clean (preferably gloved) hands; brand new and absolutely perfect.

   mint: practically, the same as "fine" and for many collectors of books and other collectibles, "mint" means "fine" since few, nowadays have ever heard of "fine". [The origin of the word, "mint", comes from the coin collecting world where uncirculated coins (fresh from the mint, i.e., the U.S. Mints at Denver, Philadelphia, etc.) are unworn, unscratched, unfingerprinted, unsmudged, etc. ... you get it.]

   near mint: Just that! Very minor defects not noticeable in a brief inspection or by non-collectors; in quantitative terms: one (1) small defect.

   excellent: [Not a standard or widely used term in the book collecting game, but one which this writer likes and uses.] Between near mint and very good. To the layman, the "excellent" (condition) book, when received as a gift, will look brand new. Only a sharp-eyed collector will state that it is only "good" by detecting, almost-to-the-naked-eye, minor defects. In quantitative terms: two defects and these must be small.

   very good: an average book which could be dog-eared at the edge of the binding but certainly free of any noticeable damage, e.g. water stains. [The term "dog-eared" means many things to many people. To the average mortal, "dog-eared" means a book which has seen a lot of use and has pages rounded off at corners from heavy use. To the collector, "dog-eared" means slight and barely noticeable scuffing at the corners of the covers.]

   good: the condition of most books which have seen moderate use but have no damage visible. The pages are clean and corners are sharp.

   fair: may have some spine (binding) damage; no dust jacket; may have coffee stains and/or water damage, but it's still in one piece.

    poor: no dust jacket; dog-eared in many senses of the term; water stains.

    damage: as specified: which could include broken or separated binding, loose pages, tears, covers damaged, pages missing or with text or, often, illustrations removed. Damage should be specified.

   dog-eared: exhibiting some degree of wear do to usage and handling, being read, stored, etc.  To the average mortal, "dog-eared" means a book which has seen a lot of use and has pages rounded off at corners from heavy use with the page edges showing some soiling. To the collector, "dog-eared" means slight and barely noticeable scuffing at the corners of the covers.

    dust jacket, a.k.a., dust cover, dust wrapper: the paper covering used to protect (originally) the cloth covers of new books from soiling while on the bookstore shelves. Later, and presently) the dust cover is used as a billboard to entice the book buyer, to inform the book buyer, to provide hype for the book in the form of excerpts of reviews touting the virtues. For the collector, the presence of the dust jacket is of great importance since most modern books from the 1920s have been published with dust jackets. As noted, above, only the "fair" and "poor" condition-rated books are without dust jackets. It should be noted that a book can be in excellent, near mint, or even, mint condition and not have a dust jacket or have one in poor condition (worn and torn). Therefore, it is worthwhile in reading the description of the item to determine whether the dust jacket is present and in what condition. [On this website, the condition of the dust jacket is usually specified and its presence or absence noted.]

    hardcover: a durable-bound book with cardboard covers encased in paper, cloth, leatherette, leather, or composition material simulating leather or cloth; binding is usually sewn, but not always. Typical textbooks and some trade books may look like sewn bindings but are glued, a much cheaper alternative.

   large format: larger than average page size. Most trade and text books have been, traditionally, about 8" high x 5" wide; a trimmed down dimension from raw stock printing papers which used to start at 36" x 24". Large format books tend toward 11" high x 8.5" wide or the page size approximately equal to a standard sheet of typing or copy paper.

    library binding: the best cover and binding of all; usually buckram cloth covers with a sewn binding and intended for the most rugged service and long life. This binding lends itself to repair and re-binding. Occasionally, listed and offered along with soft cover and trade binding at an extra premium price. Books intended for archival used ought to be library bound.

    paperback: a softbound (soft cover) book of a small size, usually 7 (+/-) inches high by 4.25 inches wide with (almost always) a glued binding. The famous "PocketŪ" and "BantamŪ" books are examples of the small paperback.

    soft cover: a book with a heavy paper or light card stock cover. Binding may be sewn (rare), but is usually glued or may be stapled. Size varies widely from the "paperback" size up to (usually) 8.5 x 11 inches. This type of binding (usually glued) is becoming more common for short-lived books; e.g., textbooks.

  ex-lib; a.k.a. library discard : a book drawn from circulation and sold, given away, or thrown out ... discarded. Since libraries are short of two things, money and shelf space, their collections are rolled over: out with the old, in with the new, regardless of merit. Some librarians are as insensitive and as coarse as the stereotypical junk / salvage yard operator. Many of the books are classic works or of extraordinary value as references, but that have exhibited limited circulation. Often, the dust jackets are still intact, but covered with a slippery plastic cover. Inside, between the #2 cover and the first blank leaf, is the telltale remains of the date sheet and other library imprints. Some libraries go to the trouble of stamping "DISCARDED" all over the book. However, the value as literature can't be diminished although the value, to book collecting purists is virtually nil.

Taking care of books (a few tips): Don't leave books laying around haphazardly; put them on shelves. Try to keep books out of the sunlight since it fades the covers. Many printing inks contain dyes and will fade under sunlight. Cover the books if you can; it keeps dust and dirt off and keeps them in "mint" condition longer. When putting down a book (during reading), don't lay it face down with the covers upward; that's hard on the binding or may crease the pages - use a bookmark to keep your place.

Is a book new or used? We offer a mixed assortment of both new and used books; mostly used. We assume that this fact should not be of a concern of yours ... that is, we assume that you, the client and book buyer, are interested in content and are not a collector. 

 All of our books are complete and if any are not, that fact will be specified. All books are inspected for condition and the price is set on that basis. FICOA is not a rare book dealer although we may occasionally offer a rare and/or first edition. If you are interested in book collecting, hit the  First Editions and Rare Books  section.


Contact Us at:  FICOA, 5928 W. Michigan St., Wauwatosa, WI 53213-4248


*Do not click on this e-mail address since it has some gibberish attached to confound the "SPAM ROBOTS" which march across the Internet vacuuming up e-mail addresses; Use it as you see it (write it down & then use it).

                             phone:   (414) 258 - 6492   ... ask for Hank

How to Order