The Universal Baseball Associations, Inc. J. Henry Waugh Prop., written by Robert Coover, was originally published by Random House in 1968. The novel is a dark comedy, in which harrowing themes are portrayed humorously. The main character of the novel, J. Henry Waugh, is a despondent accountant. Although he lives a miserable life, when he returns home each night from work, he becomes engaged in game of baseball he created himself. In this game, each pitch and play is dictated by the roll of a dice. Henry controls every moment of the game, and relentlessly invests his time in the game. As a result of his seclusion, Henry experiences insanity. This novel highlights the effects of depression, while also displaying the entertaining game of baseball.
In 2011, New York Times writer Matt Weiland stated that Robert Coover "made baseball on the page seem three-dimensional". John Sexton, the president of New York University from 2002 to 2015 stated that The Universal Baseball Associations, Inc. J. Henry Waugh Prop. was "the best book written about baseball by anyone".
Robert Coover was an american novelist and short story writer, who graduated from Indiana University, and taught Literary Arts at Brown University. Coover also wrote The Origin of the Brunists (1966) and The Public Burning (1977). He won the William Faulkner Foundation Award in 1967 and the Rea Award for the Short Story in 1987.
The Universal Baseball Associations, Inc. J. Henry Waugh Prop. was never adapted into a film or portrayed any media beyond print.