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1839 The Boy's Book of Sports by S. Babcock, New Haven
Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $948.00
1839 edition of The Boy's Book of Sports, published by S. Babcock, New Haven. 24 pages. This small (4 x 4.5 inches) soft-cover book is not only one of the earliest published works to include the rules of baseball, but also one of the first to refer to the game by name as "base ball." Equally significant is its inclusion of the famous woodcut illustration picturing boys playing baseball on the Boston Commons, which was first published in The Book of Sports by Robin Carver (1834, Lilly, Colman, and Holden, Boston). Actually, the rules of the game presented in The Boy's Book of Sports, formally titled simply "base ball" by Babcock, borrow heavily from Carver (who himself borrowed from the 1829 Boys Own Book). A few words have been changed here and there, in an effort to paraphrase rather than copy word for word, but it is clear that Babcock has indeed copied Carver, including entire passages verbatim. In addition to its extraordinarily significant content, the fact that this book dates from 1839, the very year in which Abner Doubleday allegedly invented the game of baseball (according to Al Spalding and the Mills Commission), gives this book an added dimension of historical significance. The book has a little general wear and some slight splitting along the spine, but the cover is still intact and is in especially fine condition considering its age; the interior pages have some minor foxing but are otherwise bright and clean. Overall in Very Good to Vg-Ex condition. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $948.00
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