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1858 A Manual of Cricket and Base Ball by Mayhew & Baker
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $2,204.00
A Manual of Cricket and Base Ball, published in 1858 by Mayhew & Baker, 208 Washington St., Boston, is one of the most significant of all early baseball publications. Mayhew & Baker is the same company that published The Ball Players Companion in 1859, 1860, and 1861. This book, of course, predates The Ball Players Companion. By 1858, the surge in popularity of baseball led many fans of the game to request that printed rules of the game be published and available for sale to the public, just as the rules for many other outdoor games such as cricket already were. Boston publisher Mayhew & Baker had already printed a manual detailing the rules of cricket so, in response to demand, in 1858 they emended their cricket manual, adding the rules of baseball, and publishing it in this soft cover as A Manual of Cricket and Base Ball. This book is of extraordinary significance because it is the very first published volume available to the public that presented detailed rules of the game of baseball. It is also one of the few early baseball items which at a glance communicates the close relationship between the English game of cricket and baseball, especially during the 1850s and early 1860s. The first twenty pages of the book feature the rules of cricket. The remaining five pages feature the rules of baseball, including diagram. We have previously seen only two examples of this rare volume, both of which had no covers. Until the discovery of this volume we were uncertain whether the covers to the previously known volumes were missing or the book was printed without a traditional cover. The offered example was long ago deaccessioned from a library or museum. An ink stamped on the front reads "Discarded Providence Athenaeum." The cover features a woodcut of a cricket game in progress. The book was originally bound by string, which is no longer present, so the book is currently separated into two 12-page sections. Both the front and back covers are present. Some general wear to covers, including a few library identification numbers, interior pages are very clean, overall in remarkably fine condition. Covers are in Very Good condition; interior pages are in Very Good to Excellent condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $2,204.00
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