Description1887 The Sporting Life Official Game of Baseball. The only known example of this game in existence today, this gorgeous relic utilizes the famous Harper's woodcut of "A Double Play--First League Game, New York against Boston, April 29" on the wooden lid in full, glorious color. It would appear that a good portion of the game pieces have been lost, leaving the style of game play a mystery, but present are awesome eight inch tall die cut wooden figures of Hall of Fame Giants Tim Keefe and Buck Ewing (also from a Harper's woodcut) and an eleven inch long ring bat. A paper fragment of what we'd assume is the rule page closes out the inventory. Wooden box that houses the game is 12x12x2.5", with a sliding lid and dovetailed corners. The box and game pieces show age but nothing that could be accurately described as damage, and our catalog imagery should properly convey that the aesthetics are first-rate. A splendid artifact from the earliest decades of the professional game. The only example known.
The Dr. Mark Cooper Collection of Vintage Baseball Games
In the preface to his definitive guide on the topic, Baseball Games: Home Versions of the National Pastime 1860s - 1960's, Dr. Cooper points to the absence of a clock, the "timelessness" of the sport, that makes it the perfect subject for board games. But his remarkable collection, likewise documented in the popular volume Smithsonian Baseball: Inside the World's Finest Private Collections, is timeless in more ways than one. Most of us discovered our love of the sport of baseball in our youth, and it lives forever in this joyful assembly that transports us back to our own childhood, and that of our National Pastime.
Represented in the following lots are many of the key entrants in Cooper's peerless collection, a study in the evolution of the both sport and this fascinating collecting subgenre. Whether the fascination is delivered through marvelous period graphics, groundbreaking mechanical interface, or some combination of the two, these games are certain to transport their new owners to a simpler age when both our National Pastime and the notion of childhood existed in a far purer form.
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