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Lot # 978 (of 1512)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1905-1921 National Commission Annual Report Collection (14) - August Herrmann's Personal Copies

Starting Bid - $2,000, Sold For - $15,600

In 1903 the National League and American League made "peace" with each other by adopting a National Agreement for the Government of Professional Base Ball. The written contract, which was also entered into by the National Association (the body governing minor-league baseball), was formally adopted and signed on September 11, 1903. Central to the contract was the establishment of a three-member National Commission, which was given the power to construe and carry out the terms and provisions of the National Agreement. The National Commission was to be made up of the current National and American League presidents, and by a third person, mutually agreed upon by both league presidents, who would act as chairman. Cincinnati Reds owner August Herrmann was selected as chairman of the Commission in 1903 and he held that post until the National Commission was replaced as baseball's ruling body by the office of the Baseball Commissioner in 1921.

Offered here is a rare collection of fourteen annual reports, issued by the National Commission between the years 1905 and 1921, originating from the personal collection of August Herrmann. (Editor's note: because many personal papers of August Hermann were donated to the Hall of Fame, REA checked with the Hall of Fame regarding these items to confirm there was no title issue and was given written assurance that there is no relationship between this set and their August Hermann donation.)

Each suede-bound volume (varying hues) features the respective year and the name "Aug. Herrmann" gilt-stamped on the cover, with the exception of the 1905 report (Herrmann's name is not included). As noted in the preface for each volume, twenty-five copies of these annual reports were distributed to the presidents of the American and National Leagues, and the president of the American Association. Additional copies could be had for the cost of $1.00 each. The offered collection includes the first annual report, issued in 1905, as well as those for the years 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, and 1921 (the last year of the Commission). These volumes are a treasure trove of information regarding the proceedings of the Commission during its years as baseball's reigning government body, including the resolution of a dispute between Babe Ruth and Chicago Cubs infielder Charlie Deal relating to an automobile sale in 1917 (recorded in the 1918 annual). The volumes vary in length between 74 pages (1921) and 217 pages (1912) and remain in Excellent to Mint condition overall, with the covers displaying only minor wear. This extraordinary 14-volume collection of August Hermann National Commission reports was purchased by our consignor at auction in 2000 for $3,900, and have remained in his advanced collection until now. Total: 14 volumes. Reserve $2,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $15,600

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