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Lot # 626 (of 1594)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Extraordinary 1907 Al Spalding Letter to Henry Chadwick

Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $4,112.50

One-page typed letter signed by Al Spalding to Henry Chadwick, dated June 10, 1907, with extraordinary content relating to the gift of Chadwick's baseball library to Spalding, Spalding's regret that Chadwick has decided not to pursue the writing of a complete history of the game, and Spalding's thoughts regarding Chadwick's proposal of assistance to Spalding, should Spalding be willing to undertake the ambitious project. The historically significant content of the letter speaks for itself. The Spalding Collection, which includes Chadwick's library, is permanently housed at The New York Public Library, and is universally recognized as one of the world's most important baseball-library collections. Spalding did go on to write one of the most highly regarded, definitive historical accounts of the game, America's National Game , published in 1911, which incorporated many of Chadwick's notes and writings on the game. There is, of course, an unbelievable irony in Spalding and Chadwick, the two opponents of the "Rounders" versus "The Doubleday Myth" theories of the evolution of the game, discussing a collaborative effort in writing a history of the National Pastime. An even greater irony is that Chadwick, the lone defender of the truth that baseball evolved from the English game of Rounders, should make a gift of his most treasured and historically priceless baseball library to Spalding, the man singularly responsible for the "Doubleday Myth." Chadwick was the game's greatest and most dedicated historian, and his collection was universally recognized as the most significant of its kind. Perhaps this gift, and Chadwick's invitation to Spalding to write the complete history of the game, represent a statement by "The Father of Baseball" to "Young Albert," that he needs to study the history of the game, and apply his studies to the writing of a true and accurate historical account. This previously undocumented and never-before-seen letter is one of the most extraordinary letters in existence relating to Chadwick, Spalding, and their great collections. The letter, on Spalding's personal stationery, is signed "A.G. Spalding" ("9") in black ink. In Excellent condition overall, with normal mailing folds. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,000/$4,000. SOLD FOR $4,112.50

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