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Two Early Baseball Guide Rarities (1868 and 1872)
Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $2,370.00
The game of baseball was a true "work in progress" during the nineteenth century. For many players, the only way to keep track of the yearly rule changes was to consult the annual reference guides, which, as the seasons went on, were issued by a number of respected publishers. Offered here are two particularly rare early guides, both edited by Henry Chadwick, the "Father of Baseball." 1) Soft-cover edition of the 1868 Haney's Base Ball Book of Reference (Haney & Co., New York), which features an illustration of players consulting the guide. The 138-page guide features numerous illustrations and diagrams, providing both rules and instruction on how to play the game. The book (3.75 x 6 inches) displays minor tears to both covers, as well as light foxing to a few interior pages. The name of a former owner is lightly written in pencil on the front cover. In Good to Very Good condition. 2) 1872 The Base Ball Player's Book of Reference (Peck & Snyder, New York). Soft cover, twenty-one pages. The design of the cover of this extremely rare book is very unusual in that the publisher used the cover for the 1871 guide as the cover for the 1872 volume as well. The cover actually bears the date "1871"; however, upon close examination it can be seen that the second numeral "1" has been lightly stamped over with the numeral "2." What is also interesting about this particular volume is that it contains a Peck & Snyder advertising supplement that, at ninety-five pages, is more than three times longer than the main text. Even more amazing is that the supplement, which includes a wholesale price list for baseball clubs, features numerous color plates. Displayed within the pages are the uniform styles for the Atlantic and Star baseball clubs, each in their full-color glory, as well as color illustrations of team flags, belts, caps, and every other piece of baseball equipment in use during the period. Other sports, including rowing, cricket, bowling, and fishing, are also represented, as are various miscellaneous sporting-good items, such as guns, ammunition, and fireworks. The book (5 x 7 inches) is in Fair to Good condition overall, with minor tears, soiling, minor stains, interior pencil notations, and a few pages that have detached from the spine. Total: 2 guides. Reserve $200. Estimate $400/$800. SOLD FOR $2,370.00
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