Amos Alonzo Stagg's Personal Library of Spalding Football Guides (1888-1940)

Sold For: $3,819

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1500

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This near-complete run of fifty-one Spalding Official Football Guides , spanning the years 1888 through 1940 (only the years 1892 and 1893 are missing), is an extremely rare and significant collection worthy of a world-class sporting library, but is all the more noteworthy for the fact that all of the books originate from the personal collection of college football coaching legend Amos Alonzo Stagg. These guides were obviously important to Stagg, and he probably referenced them constantly over the years, given their well-worn condition, interior notes (presumably in Stagg's hand), and the fact that he went to the trouble of binding forty-four of the volumes (thirty-eight in red cloth boards; six in black leather). Twenty-six of the bound volumes feature Stagg's name in gilt-stamped letters on the cover. Ideally, nine of the volumes are signed by Stagg, either on the cover, interior, or front bindery pages (variety of inks, averaging "6"): 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1894, 1909, 1911, 1927 and 1928. Stagg was both a standout college football player (Yale) and coach, as well as an innovator in a number of other sports, including basketball, where he was largely responsible for making it a five-player sport. His accomplishments in both football and basketball later earned him inaugural induction into both the College Football Hall of Fame (1951) and Basketball Hall of Fame (1959). Unless otherwise noted, all of the volumes are complete with their original covers. A number of the guides display minor notations on the cover and/or interior. The condition grades are without reference to the binding process. Fair (1): 1890 (missing both covers and a few of the final advertising pages). Good (1): 1914 (missing front cover). Good/Very Good (10): 1888, 1889, 1891, 1894-1896, 1899, 1905, 1909, and 1910. Very Good (11): 1898, 1900-1904, 1907, 1916, 1917, 1920, and 1924. Very Good/Excellent (7): 1897, 1906, 1908, 1911-1913, and 1915. Excellent (6): 1918, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1926, and 1935. Excellent/Mint (16): 1920, 1921, 1925, 1927-1934, and 1936-1940. These football guides, especially the early volumes, are extremely rare and in fact are much harder to find than their baseball counterparts. This is one of the most substantial offerings of these guides we have ever seen and the fact that they once lined the shelves of Amos Alonzo Stagg's personal reference library gives them a fascinating additional dimension of significance and appeal. Total: 51 guides. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/$2,000. SOLD FOR $3,819

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