Extraordinary portraiture of 19th century legends including Buck Ewing, Cy Young and "Sliding Billy" Hamilton1893 Zimmer's Base Ball Game. The beauty of this exceptionally scarce relic, the Mona Lisa of all baseball games, lies in the chromolithographic depiction of eighteen Major League players that adorn the playing surface, a roster packed with names that today appear in Cooperstown bronze. In the field we find Buck Ewing (catcher), Amos Rusie (pitcher), Dan Brouthers (first base), John Montgomery Ward (second base), John Glasscock (shortstop), George Davis (third base),Sam Thompson (right field), Jimmy McAleer (center field) and Billy Hamilton (left field). Portraits in the dugout: Cy Young, Kid Nichols, W. Zimmer (unknown, perhaps related to the game maker), Jacob Virtue, Bid McPhee, George Davies, Patsy Tebeau, Ed Delehanty and Germany Smith. Pictured in front of the plate is accomplished Native American catcher "Chief" Zimmer. The portraiture throughout is magnificent, every bit the equal of the tobacco cards of the era.
An 1895 advertisement for the game, reprinted on page twenty-seven of Cooper's definitive guide, "Baseball Games: Home Versions of the National Pastime 1860's-1960's," speaks to the functionality:
"The diagram of the ball field is 22 inches square, and all the players' positions are filled with spring catches fastened to the board; these serve to stop and hold the ball, seldom failing to hold a 'hot one' direct from the bat, and the chances for a safe hit are found to be about the same as in an actual game between professional nines."
The game survives in a stunning state of preservation, with a few spots of age-toning only apparent upon the closest of inspection. We risk no hyperbole with the statement that the visuals rate a solid NRMT. The game is housed in a specially constructed shadow box frame, making this the most eminently displayable of Dr. Cooper's impressive offerings. The exceedingly rare original box top is present, in VG condition. Truly the most desirable of all early board games.
*A donation of $100 to the American Red Cross is required to attend the Live auction.
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