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1888 The Pictorial Base Ball Album

  • Sold For: $8,888
  • Year: 1888
  • Auction: 2012 spring
  • Lot #: 983
  • Auction Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

The Pictorial Baseball Album , published in 1888 by Mussey & Harper (Chicago, IL), is highly prized by collectors today both for its remarkable content and extreme rarity. The sixty-four-page soft-cover booklet (5 x 6.75 inches) features woodcut illustrations of nearly all of the top players and figures in the game, many with accompanying biographies, including Henry Chadwick, Albert Spalding, George and Harry Wright, Charles Comiskey, Cap Anson, John Ward, Mickey Welch, Buck Ewing, James O'Rourke, Roger Conner, Mike Kelly, John Clarkson, Charles Radbourn, Dan Brouthers, A. J. Reach, and Chris Von Der Ahe. Also included are team woodcuts of the 1869 Red Stockings and 1887 Detroit Wolverines, and a brief history of baseball, titled "Old Base Ball." Additional information includes the complete schedules of both the National League and American Association for 1888 and box scores for each game of the 1886 and 1887 World Series. This is one of the rarest of all nineteenth-century baseball guides. In all our years we have seen exactly four other examples of this book, including one in the famed Copeland auction in 1990. It is one of the great prize items featuring information and images of ballplayers of the era. The format of much of The Pictorial Baseball Album is very "card-like" in design and it is essentially a pictorial yearbook featuring the greatest stars of 1888. The offered example remains in extraordinary condition considering its age and fragile nature. Both covers are firmly attached and display moderate wear. A small tear is evident along the base of the spine. The name of a former owner ("Richard N. Boe") is stamped on the front flyleaf. There is a very tiny area of discoloration along the right edge of the first ten pages; otherwise the pages are all generally clean and bright. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000+.
SOLD FOR $8,888

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