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Circa 1905 Edward's Big League Table Base Ball Game
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $5,036.25
According to Dr. Mark Cooper, author of the definitive reference work Baseball Games (1995 Schiffler Publishing), Edward's Big League Table Base Ball Game is the most sophisticated of all baseball action games. It is also one of the rarest. This is only the second example we have ever seen, let alone handled (the first, which was featured as Lot 690 in our April 2005 auction, realized a final sales price of $6,960). In fact, outside of our two sales, the only other place we have ever gazed upon this game is in the pages of Dr. Cooper's book! Given its dimensions and advanced mechanics, this was undoubtedly the "Rolls Royce" of retail baseball games during the early 1900s. Produced by "The Edwards Manufacturing Co., Cincinnati, O.," as indicated by the original plaque mounted on an exterior side wall, the game is housed in its own boxed playing field measuring 26.5 x 26.5 x 5 inches. The action of the game is identical to that of a real baseball game. The pitcher throws a ball in the air, and the batter makes an attempt to hit the ball. Like a standard baseball game, there are nine total fielders, eight of whom hold metal nets to potentially "catch" a batted ball. A knob behind home plate, when turned, moves the runners around the bases on a chain driven mechanism. All of the player figures are crafted in metal; the runners and batter are painted in blue; the fielders are painted in maroon. The base of the game is made of wood while the interior field is decorated in a tan felt material. The interior side walls feature a leather covering. The crank shaft behind home plate is missing its knob, but all of the other components are in working order. The original ball is not included. The game has some minor surface wear, including a few minor abrasions to the field surface and scratches along the exterior walls, but it is otherwise in remarkable condition given its age and former use. In Excellent to Mint condition overall, with all of the metal figures retaining approximately ninety-eight percent of their original paint. This is one of the great early baseball games, of incredibly high quality, and a great rarity virtually unseen by even the most serious collectors. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $3,000+. SOLD FOR $5,036.25
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