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Lot # 1172 (of 1727)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 How to Become a Player by John Ward

Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,528

First edition of John Ward's famous book, Baseball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History, and Explanation of the Game (Philadelphia: Athletic Publishing Company, 1888). With its original yellow paper wrappers, 149 pages. (The first edition was also issued in a cloth binding.) This extremely rare book includes a detailed history of the game in addition to instructions on how to play. Unlike many such instructional books authored by players, 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 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 Player's League. This is a particularly rare early historical baseball book that is highly regarded and often referred to by scholars. It was obviously published in very limited numbers and we have only seen a few examples over the years. Our consignor purchased this book many years ago from Bauman Rare Books in New York City and it is accompanied by its original two-page Bauman sale description. The book (4.75 x 7.25 inches) displays minor edge wear and light soiling to the fragile paper wrappers. There is some minor chipping and a few tears along the spine which have been repaired by vintage clear tape. The interior pages are lightly toned. In Very Good condition overall. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,528


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