Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    1878 Parlor Base Ball. The first baseball game manufactured by a major game company, this Milton Bradley creation survives as one of just three known examples. It is the second oldest baseball game (after the 1869 New Parlor Game sold in our 2012 Platinum Night Auction for $29,000) known to exist. We first encounter an exquisitely designed hinged lid with batter and catcher framed by the words "Parlor Base Ball" and a perimeter of design elements. The box opens to reveal a playing field at left and a spinner at right, the latter used to determine the course of play. Note the location of the first and third basemen, an indication of the early rule that stated that a ball that landed in fair ground but proceeded into foul territory before reaching the bag was in play, requiring this unusual positioning. Also note the location of the catcher, umpire with umbrella and the single bench for the team on offense.

    Remarkably, three used paper scorecards from the game survive as well, as do a couple dozen wooden playing markers. We encounter some limited staining to the playing field surface, and less to the spinner side, but the condition is quite impressive overall, and certainly the intense rarity makes such quibbles a bit silly. The obverse of the box is a beautiful checkerboard with the original checkers set present. Open dimensions are 10.5x21.5x1". Certainly one of the most important baseball games that exists.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2013
    7th-9th Thursday-Saturday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 500

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) 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 4 days left to consign to the 2018 July 19 - 20 Summer Sports Card Catalog Auction Sports Collectibles Catalog Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    I'm a relatively new client at Heritage, and Calvin Arnold, Director and Sports Card expert, has helped make me a Big fan in just a few months.
    Chuck L.,
    Encino, CA
    View More Testimonials

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    May 17-18 Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction - Dallas
    May 17-18 Sports Memorabilia Catalog Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $4,264,496