Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1842 Alexander J. Cartwright Signed Document. Possibly the earliest Baseball Hall of Fame autograph ever offered at public auction, this exceptionally scarce receipt bears the autograph of a twenty-two year old Cartwright, penned three years before he helped to found the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York, the first baseball team. He begins by noting the date of "July 14th, 1842," which he then addends to read "August 18th." He continues, "Mr. Alexr. J. Cartwright. Dr. To James H. Townley for three Gilt Frames $3.25 -- $9.75. Received Payment." Townley's signature closes the text. Our educated Heritage bidding clientele will almost surely need no convincing of the extreme relevance of this piece--though Cartwright never hit sixty home runs or won three hundred games, his status as the game's earliest pioneer demands that he sit at the head of the table in any fine baseball autograph collection. It was Cartwright who located the bases ninety feet apart, established nine players as a team, three outs per side, a fixed batting order, and eliminated the practice of throwing a ball at a runner to retire him. In the absence of Cartwright, the game of baseball would almost surely be vastly different than it is today, if it would have survived at all. The priceless artifact offered here measures 3.5x8" of attractively toned unlined paper, with all ink remaining in glorious 9+/10 condition. The slightest hint of foxing at the right edge can do absolutely nothing to detract, nor can the vaguest shadow of a horizontal crease that underlines the Cartwright signature. Pinholes in the upper margin will be visible only to those with eyes of an eagle, and again can do nothing to diminish the vast appeal. LOA from Steve Grad & Zach Rullo/ PSA DNA.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2005
    14th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 590

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 1 day left to consign to the 2020 April 16 The David Hall T206 Collection Part IV Sports Card Catalog Auction !

    Learn about consigning with us

    I am completely satisfied, more to the point, absolutely ecstatic, about not only the proceeds but the wonderful professional manner every aspect of my little consignment was handled.
    Bill R.,
    Green Bay, WI
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 January 30 The 1952 Topps & 1953 Topps PSA Set Registry Auction
    2020 January 30 The 1952 Topps & 1953 Topps PSA Set Registry Auction
    REALIZED $706,616