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Lot # 960 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1890 Players' National League Base-Ball Guide

Starting Bid - $100, Sold For - $720

Rare 1890 Players' National League Base-Ball Guide, published by F. H. Brunell, who was secretary and treasurer of the Players' League. This is the first example of this extremely rare guide we have offered in many years and we can only recall having seen just a few others. Its rarity is directly related to the League's short, one-year existence. The Players' League was established in 1890 by a group of Major League players who had become dissatisfied with their treatment by team owners. The leader of the movement to form the new league was John Montgomery Ward, one of the top players of his day and president of the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players. The preceding year Ward led an open revolt against management that resulted in the formation of the renegade league. Unfortunately, financial miscalculations caused the Players' League to fold after just one season and most of the players simply returned to their old clubs. The 128-page soft-cover guide (4.5 x 6.5 inches) features an introduction written by John Montgomery Ward that details the history of the League's formation, as well as the newly established playing rules. The guide also includes a small fold-over insert (4 x 6 inches) that provides the complete league schedule for 1890. The front of the schedule insert displays an engraving of Charles Comiskey in an advertisement for Merrell's Penetrating Oil. The remainder of the book simply documents statistics and league standings from the previous year. Interestingly, the name "Walter Camp" is scripted in black ink on the cover, indicating that this guide might have once been part of his personal library. (Camp, who is often referred to as the "Father of American Football," starred on the Yale football team from 1876 to 1880 before embarking on a long and successful coaching career, during which time he was responsible for many of the early innovations in the game. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951.) The guide displays tape repair to the spine, numerous small edge tears and chips to both covers, and minor edge tears to many of the pages. In Good condition overall. Reserve $100. Estimate $300+. SOLD FOR $720

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