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    Description

    Extraordinary portraiture of 19th century legends including Buck Ewing, Cy Young and "Sliding Billy" Hamilton

    1893 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 Mark 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 marvelously, with a degree of wear confined almost entirely to the areas affected by game function. The great bulk of the game's square footage is free of any significant distraction. The rare relic is professionally framed to dimensions of 25x25x3". Many consider this to be the "Grail" of early baseball board games, for good reason.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    July, 2015
    30th-31st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 22
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,255

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