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Lot # 38 (of 1525)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1868 The Game of Baseball Book Signed and Inscribed by Henry Chadwick

Starting Bid - $4,000.00, Sold For - $16,240.00

Presented is one of the most extraordinary signed baseball books that could possibly exist - an original 1868 edition of Henry Chadwick's The Game of Baseball, signed by Henry Chadwick. The volume is signed and inscribed by Chadwick to his friend and protégé, fellow Brooklyn Daily Eagle sportswriter Abe Yager, himself one of the most prominent sportswriters of the day. The placement of Chadwick's signature and inscription are ideal, appearing beneath his portrait on the key interior flyleaf page, in ink as follows: "To Abe Yager, With warmest regards on your birthday, a copy of my first base ball book. Yours in Friendship - Henry Chadwick July 13, 1907." The signature and inscription are bold and essentially flawless ("10"), having been protected from light and the elements within the confines of the pages of the book. Chadwick's personal Brooklyn Eagle business card is affixed to the interior of the front cover. Below, at the bottom of the interior of the inside cover, Chadwick has written his initials, "H.C." and added the address "21 Grove Pl." ("8"), both in pencil. This was Chadwick's home address in Brooklyn from the 1860s through the early 1870s, suggesting that this volume, signed and presented by Chadwick in 1907, was in fact Chadwick's personal library copy of this most important book. Englishman Henry Chadwick was the preeminent American sportswriter of the nineteenth century. In 1868 he wrote the 180-page hardcover volume The Game of Baseball (New York: George Munroe & Co., Publishers, 1868), which today is universally acknowledged to be one of the most important and earliest histories of the National Pastime. This extremely rare 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 the cornerstone of all important baseball libraries. There are believed to be fewer than twenty copies in existence. To the best of our knowledge, this is the only signed copy known. There is wear to the back cover, primarily in the form of scuffing. The title page has been removed from the interior and mounted on the original hardcover. A small newspaper clipping relating to Chadwick's books is affixed to the lower right corner of the front cover. A strip of book binding library tape, neatly notated "A Yager BKLYN DAILY EAGLE" in white ink, provides reinforcement along the spine. The binding is tight. The interior pages are bright, clean, and in overall Excellent condition. This is an extraordinary and unique original edition of one of collecting's rarest and most important early books, signed and inscribed by its author, legendary Hall of Famer Henry Chadwick, to one of his closest colleagues. LOAs from Mike Gutierrez/GAI and James Spence & Steve Grad/PSA DNA. Reserve $4,000. Estimate $8,000/$12,000. SOLD FOR $16,240.00


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