Turn-of-the-Century Indoor Baseball Collection - Bat and Two Balls with Original Boxes

Sold For: $1,200

Auction Year: 2016 fall

Lot: 1481

Item Year: 1900

Category: Pre-1900 Baseball Memorabilia

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One of the lesser-known variations of our National Pastime was "Indoor Baseball" which, as the name implies, was a modified version of the game played indoors by a determined group of baseball enthusiasts during the cold winter months. It is not exactly known when the practice began (available evidence indicates there were indoor leagues as far back as 1890) or ended (probably in the 1930s); however, the sport was popular enough that sporting-goods companies began producing baseball equipment specifically for indoor use. Offered here are three such rare pieces, produced specifically for indoor baseball by the Alex & Taylor Company of New York. This is not only a scarce collection (we have never offered another example of any of these items), but one that is also remarkable with regard to condition. 1) Taylor "Official Indoor" baseball bat, model "No. O. K." The 34-inch bat (24 ounces) features a slender barrel and displays what appears to be its original wrap of black tape along the handle. Little-to-no use is displayed and aside from a few minor abrasions on the back side of the barrel, the bat remains in Near Mint condition. 2) Taylor "Regulation Indoor Ball - No. 3 10 Inch," complete with its original retail box (4 x 4 x 4 inches). 3) Taylor "Official Indoor-Outdoor Ball - 2XS 10 Inch," complete with its original box (3.75 x 3.75 x 3.75 inches). Both of the balls are unused and display only a few minor surface blemishes. EX-MT to NM overall. The boxes, likewise, show only very light wear and are in EX-MT condition overall. A spectacular trio of nineteenth-century baseball rarities and perfect for display together. Total: 3 items (bat and two balls in their original boxes). Reserve $300. Estimate (open).

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