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1869 The New Parlor Game of Base Ball - The First Baseball Game
Starting Bid - $1,500.00, Sold For - $6,960.00
The New Parlor Game of Base Ball Game produced by N. B. Sumner in 1869 is the earliest baseball game known to exist. It is generally regarded as the "unobtainable" holy grail of baseball games. This is the first time in our thirty-five-year history that Robert Edward Auctions has offered the 1869 New Parlor Game. To the best of our knowledge, only three examples are known to exist. This is a game of extraordinary historical significance, and tremendous display value. There are many fascinating points of interest about the board's game-in-progress illustration. The pitcher is throwing underhand, which was standard at this time. Players are barehanded and dressed in the bib uniforms of the day. Home plate had yet to be designed in a diamond shape. The team at bat is resting on the ground along the first base line as players' benches were not common until the 1870s. It is also interesting to note that the first and third baseman are ready to cover foul territory due to the "fair foul rule" in place at this time, which stated that a ball which touched in fair territory but went foul before reaching first or third base remained in play. The very substantial game board is designed to fold over in the middle. This game board was obviously very well preserved in a folded state, shielded from the elements, as the surface is virtually flawless, with only some very minor foxing visible upon close inspection. A small paper advertising label (3.5 x 5 inches) on the reverse of the board is partially torn. Approximately half the label remains, and the game board is framed with a window reverse so this partial label may be viewed. This game was originally accompanied by wooden game pieces, a small spinner, and instructions, but all that remains is the game board, which of course is the primary point of interest, both as a game and as a display piece. The only other example of The New Parlor Game of Base Ball that we have actually seen was one of the highlights of Dr. Lawrence Kurzrok's collection. Dr. Kurzrok was one of the baseball collecting's pioneers, and had the largest collection of his day in the 1950s and 1960s. That example was purchased by Barry Halper in the 1970s, who years later traded it to Dr. Mark Cooper, where it remains as one of the centerpieces of his unparalleled collection of baseball games. This is a very rare, and possibly unique opportunity to acquire the earliest of all indoor baseball games. Excellent condition. Beautifully framed to dimensions of 24.5 x 19.5 inches. Reserve $1,500. Estimate $3,000/$5,000. SOLD FOR $6,960.00
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