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Five Spalding "Welsh National Baseballs" in Original Retail Box
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $696.00
Dating from circa 1920, these five baseballs (8.5 inches in circumference, very slightly smaller than standard size) were manufactured by Spalding & Bros. for use overseas. Four of the balls remain packaged in their original box, each with the Spalding seal unbroken. The remaining ball, which is accompanied by its original box, bears the Spalding trademark stamp on a side panel and is lettered "W. B. U. - Welsh National Baseball - Sole Makers, A. G. Spalding & Bros. Ltd." The five balls are housed in their original retail box (which once contained one-dozen balls). The 8.25 x 11 x 3-inch red cardboard box displays a blue Spalding label on one end that features a portrait image of Spalding as well as a stamp identifying the balls contained within. It is somewhat ironic that Spalding would eventually be producing baseballs to be sold for use in England. Historians long argued that baseball evolved from the English game of rounders and cricket. Spalding, on the other hand, stood resolute in his belief that baseball was uniquely American in origin and refused to entertain any arguments to the contrary. Here Spalding literally tries to sell baseball back to England. While baseball never replaced cricket in popularity "across the pond," the game obviously took hold in some areas, as evidenced by the manufacture and sale of these balls. The one ball in opened box displays slight soiling and is in Excellent condition. The four individual boxes are all in Excellent to Mint condition, with each of the Spalding seals displaying a few minor tears (all are intact). Presumably, all of the boxed balls remain in Mint condition. The retail box is in Very Good condition overall, with a number of small tears, abrasions and splits along the seams. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$600. SOLD FOR $696.00
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