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Collection of Nineteenth-Century Baseball Rules and Club Bylaws (4)
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,044.00
Collection of four extremely rare and early baseball rule books and constitutions. Our National Pastime actually had its origins not in invention, but in rules; for it was in 1846 that the Knickerbockers formally established new rules of play that quickly distinguished the game of baseball from other bat and ball games of the era. Since that day those original rules have undergone many changes, some major, some minor. Offered are two early nineteenth-century baseball rule books as well as the bylaws for two baseball clubs from the 1850s and 1860s. 1) 1859 National Association Rule Book: the eight-page booklet is titled The Game of Base Ball, Rules and Regulations of the National Association of Base Ball Players and was published by Hendrickson, Blake & Long, New York. As noted on the title page the rules were "Adopted March, 1958 and Amended March 1859." The name of a former owner appears on the interior cover and the distances between the bases and from the mound to home plate have been written in vintage black ink on an interior diagram. "Marble-style" soft cover. We have never seen this edition before and suspect, but are not sure, that an additional outer cover is missing. 4 x 5.5 inches. Vg. 2) 1865 National Association Baseball Rule Book: very substantial 36-page book is titled Hand-Book of Base Ball, published by the Philip Wilson & Co. of Philadelphia ("Manufacturers and Dealers in Base Ball Implements of every Description"), contains the rules of the National Association as adopted at its Ninth Annual Convention held at Cooper's Institute of New York in 1865. The booklet also features the names of the National Association officers as well as those of the delegates to the Ninth Annual Convention. This is the first example of this rarity we have ever seen. 3.75 x 5.75 inches. Ex, with some minor toning and foxing. 3) Constitution and By-Laws of the Capital Base Ball Club of Jefferson City, Missouri: the 22-page booklet with slick blue cover includes both the club by-laws and its adopted playing rules for the 1867 season. 3.5 x 5 inches. Vg -Ex with some splitting along the spine. 4) By-Laws of the Eckford Club, Borough of Brooklyn, New York City: The Eckfords of Brooklyn were one of the most prominent teams of the 1860s. This Eckford constitution has no date, and may date from the 1870s. The 14-page booklet does not specifically mention baseball and is strictly the bylaws for the club. This is the only Brooklyn Eckford constitution we have ever seen. 3.75 x 5 inches. Vg-Ex with a very minor slight tear in lower right corner. Total 4 rule books/constitutions. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$1,500. SOLD FOR $1,044.00
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