Mike "King" Kelly was the hard-living, hard-drinking son of a Civil War veteran whose skills at baseball and infectious charm turned him into the game's first hero, and a symbol of what it meant to be a celebrity in America in the 1880s and 1890s. Slide, Kelly, Slide reacquaints baseball fans and scholars with this little-known pioneer of the game. Marty Appel, the author of several baseball books, conducted a thorough search of local archives to bring the story of King Kelly to light and place him in his proper historical context. An innovator on the field, who was not above taking advantage of the only umpire running the game, Kelly touched many aspects of American culture while a ballplayer. He was the first player to sign autographs, and wrote the game's first autobiography. A Hall of Famer and a two-time batting champion, Kelly's greatest contribution was the popularity that he brought to the game. Slide, Kelly, Slide will truly delight.
Marty Appel has written fifteen books, including collaborations with Larry King, Bowie Kuhn, Tom Seaver, Lee LacPhail, umpire Eric Gregg, and the standard reference work on Cooperstown, Baseball's Best: The Hall of Fame Gallery.