This substantial bagatelle baseball game, titled Lou Gehrig's Official Play Ball," features a full-length image of Gehrig in mid swing at the top of the board, as well as his facsimile signature. Its attractive graphics notwithstanding, the offered example is noteworthy for its inclusion of the exceedingly rare original retail box, which is the only known survivor. It also comes with the added provenance of originating from the Marc Cooper Collection, which for years was universally recognized as having been the finest collection of retail baseball games ever assembled. (The collection was sold at auction a number of years ago.) Manufactured by the Johnson Store Equipment Company of Elgin, Illinois (as noted on the box). The game action is dictated by a ball (not included) that is rolled through metal chute at home plate, which, after bouncing along a number of metal rods, lands in a designated compartment along the outfield walls. The compartments are marked with various scenarios, such as "foul out," "double play," and "sacrifice out." Singles, doubles, triples, and home runs are scored by having the ball land in designated "traps" within the playing field. The board (18 x 18 inches; wood construction) displays light-to-moderate use, including a few light stains near the center field area, and is in Excellent condition overall. The cardboard game box (18.5 x 18.5 inches) displays a number of moderate tears, torn flaps, and light stains. In Fair to Good condition. Reserve $300. Estimate (open).
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