Just had a thought that somebody here with a penchant for baseball history might be able to point me in the right direction - has anyone come across a decent history of the baseball scene in Louisville surrounding the birth of the Louisville slugger? 1880s, in other words. It could be either about the creation of the Louisville slugger, limited or focused on 1880s (Not the entire history of the brand.) or, like I said, the baseball culture surrounding it in 1880s Kentucky.
I'm doing some preliminary research for a book I'm working on, fiction, that ends up involving Pete Browning indirectly, the ol' Gladiator himself and the player who birthed the Louisville Slugger both as a bat and a brand (Given Pete was the Louisville Slugger and oversaw creation and was recipient of the first Slugger.) There are highlights about his notoriety readily available, but little I can find to paint a picture around his drunken insanity and ground it in reality somewhat. (He was literally insane, by the by. Worth reading up on, on a lazy day. Example? His eyes were 'lamps'. So every morning he'd charge them up, of course. By staring into the sun for several minutes. On train rides with his team, he'd stick his head out the window to get all the dust and debris kicked up in his eyes and make them water. Why? Only Pete knows.)
Most of these books are out of print with no digital samples available, so tracking them down is both expensive due to scarcity and hit or miss as far as their quality goes. I'd even be willing to go after a book out of print for as many as 50-70 years as long as it fits to a tee what I'm after, so availability isn't much of a concern, just content.