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Lot # 1180 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1888 How to Become a Player by John Ward

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $4,740.00

Baseball: How to Become a Player, with the Origin, History, and Explanation of the Game by John Montgomery Ward. First edition, published by Athletic Publishing Company, Philadelphia, 1888. Complete with its original yellow paper wrappers. (The first edition was also issued in a cloth binding.) 149 pages. This extremely rare book includes a detailed history of the game in addition to instructions on how to play. Unlike many such instructional books "authored" by players, this book was actually written (not ghosted) by John Ward. A wood-engraved portrait of Ward appears on the flyleaf. Ward is recognized as one of the most important and influential players of the nineteenth century. In addition to being a star, he was one of baseball's few true scholars. Ward was a college graduate (Penn State), and he later earned a law degree from Columbia. In 1890, Ward served as the leader of the short-lived renegade Players' League. This is a particularly rare early historical baseball book that is highly regarded and often referred to by scholars. It was obviously published in very limited numbers and we have only seen a few examples over the years. Our consignor purchased this book at public auction in 1998 and we have seen few others since that time. The book (4.75 x 7.25 inches) displays a few minor edge tears to the spine and base of the front cover, as well as a small, very light crease on the back cover. The name of a former owner is written in black ink now faded, along the top of the front cover. The pages are all clean and firmly bound. In outstanding Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+.
SOLD FOR $4,740.00

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