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1855 Pioneer Base Ball Club of Jersey City Constitution
Starting Bid - $800.00, Sold For - $6,325.00
This 1855 Constitution and By-Laws of the Pioneer Base Ball Club of Jersey City, New Jersey is one of the earliest baseball constitutions known. The Pioneer Base Ball Club, as noted on the cover, was organized in June of 1855, making this team, along with the Newarks, the earliest organized baseball team in New Jersey. The constitution outlines the by-laws of the club, and the rules of the game of baseball by which club members must adhere. In these early days, the first baseball clubs were as much social clubs as teams organized for sport. The publishing of formal requirements for membership, and the rules of baseball, was a very significant part of the evolution of the game, providing the foundation blueprint for the organization of additional baseball teams which followed, as baseball's popularity grew in the years approaching the Civil War. These constitutions were published for distribution only to team members, thus accounting for their extreme rarity today. This extraordinary Pioneer Base Ball Club constitution has 10 pages, plus the green covers, and was published by "W. & C.T. Barton, Printers, 47 Dey St., N.Y., 1855." To the best of our knowledge, there are only three or four earlier baseball constitutions known to exist, and we know of no other example of the Pioneer's inaugural 1855 edition. This is an extremely rare and historic 1850's baseball relic, of great significance to the earliest days of the game in general, and with special significance to the evolution of the game as it relates to the state of New Jersey. It is almost incredible to think that not only does this team issued publication date from just ten short years following the formation of the Knickerbockers, but that that this club was based in Jersey City, literally spitting distance from the site of the first organized game, held in Hoboken in 1846 at Elysian Fields. Also included is a complete original New York Herald newspaper page (Ex) with an account of one of the 1855 Pioneer Base Ball Club's earliest games from their first season, which is ideal for display with the constitution, and a circa 1860's Eureka baseball club team ribbon (Vg-Ex). The constitution is in remarkably fine condition for its age and delicate construction. There is a very light stain on the back cover, which is of no consequence but is mentioned strictly for the sake of accuracy. Overall in Vg-Ex condition. Total 3 items. Reserve $800. Estimate $2,000/$3,000. SOLD FOR $6,325.00
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