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Lot # 742 (of 1411)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 Base-Ball by John Montgomery Ward

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $812.00

Exceptionally strong example of John Ward's famous book, Base-Ball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History, and Explanation of the Game (Philadelphia: Athletic Publishing, 1888). First Edition with covers intact. 149 pages. This extremely rare soft-cover book includes a detailed history of the game in addition to instructions on how to play. This is a particularly desirable and very scarce nineteenth-century baseball book, which includes woodcuts of players such as John Clarkson, Buck Ewing and Doc Bushong. This book was originally published in both a hard- and soft-cover edition. The sof- cover edition is especially rare to find in high grade as the covers are so easily damaged or lost entirely. This book was actually written (not ghosted) by John Ward. A wood-engraved portrait of Ward appears on the flyleaf. Ward is recognized as one of the most important and influential players of the nineteenth century. In addition to being a star pitcher, and later a standout shortstop for the N.Y. Giants during the 1880s, he was also one of Major League baseball's few true scholars. Ward was a college graduate (Penn State), and he later earned a law degree from Columbia. In 1890, Ward served as the leader of the short-lived renegade Players League. The front cover displays the name of a contemporary owner neatly written in black ink along the top border and a tiny corner chip in the lower right. An area of very light staining appears on the cover; it is otherwise in Excellent condition and one of the finest examples of this extremely fragile edition we have ever offered. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $812.00

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