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1868 Chadwick's American Game of Baseball
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $8,225
First edition of The Game of Base Ball by Henry Chadwick, published in 1868 by George Munro & Co., New York. (The cover of the book bears the title Chadwick's American Game of Base Ball .) T he Game of Baseball is not only one of the earliest histories of our national pastime, but also one of the most important. Chadwick was the preeminent sportswriter of his day and is universally regarded as one of the game's founding fathers. Chadwick's role in the emergence of baseball as our national pastime was great. As a chronicler of the sport he was continually promoting the virtues of the game to the American people in newspapers, magazines, and books. At the same time he was writing about baseball he was also actively contributing to the game's evolution as a board member on various rules committees. The complete title of this book is The Game of Base Ball - How to Learn it, How to Play it, and How to Teach it - With Sketches of Noted Players . If any man were qualified to write such a book at the time it was "Father Chadwick." This remarkable hard-bound volume includes rules and instructions for the game, profiles of many leading players, summaries of famous matches, box scores, and other important historical information relating to the early days of the game, much of it found nowhere else. "The Chadwick Book," as it is often referred to by advanced collectors, is considered a cornerstone of all important baseball libraries. In addition to its historical significance, the book is also extremely rare. Today there are believed to be fewer than twenty copies in existence, making this a highly sought-after volume by both baseball collectors and bibliophiles alike. The offered hard-bound volume (4.25 x 6.5 inches) displays a few abrasions and/or tears to the decorative paper mounts on both covers; however, one can still make out portions of the gilt-stamped title on the front cover and the advertisements on the back cover. The name of a former owner is written on the front flyleaf in pencil but is very faint (possibly once erased). Also written on the front flyleaf in pencil is the number "4027." The name "Henry Chadwick" is scripted in pencil below his engraved portrait opposite the title page. Two of the pages (page 91/92 and page 93/94 are torn (paper loss) in the lower right corner. A number of pages also display light foxing. The spine remains tight and all of the pages are firmly attached. In Very Good condition overall and a particularly fine example of this rare volume that is universally revered as one of the most important of all baseball books. The volume is housed in a beautifully designed custom-made leather-bound solander case for ideal storage and display. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$3,000+. SOLD FOR $8,225
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