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    1895-96 Yale University Bulldogs "Basket Ball" Broadside from The Mabel Welton Collection - First NCAA Basketball Champions! One of the earliest basketball broadsides ever to be offered for public sale, this exemplar was printed less than five years after the game was invented by James Naismith and reads"February 27, 1896. Lenox Lyceum, Madison Ave. and 59th Street. Basket Ball. Yale University versus 23rd Street Y.M.C.A." with the "Styles & Cash, N.Y." printer's credit at the bottom.

    The two-sided heavy paper stock broadside (11x11") exhibits a vertical center crease, a small chip to the upper left corner, and remnants on one side from the vintage mailer in which it was received, addressed to "Miss Welton, Vassar College...Gymnasium." The "clean side" of the broadside is in miraculous condition considering its 123-year vintage.

    The 1895-96 Yale Bulldogs were retroactively ranked as NCAA basketball champions by the Premo-Porretta Power Poll in 1995, making them the first NCAA basketball champions. The research used to issue these retroactive rankings were collected over a forty-year period by two basketball scholars (Patrick Premo and Phil Porretta), who specialized in researching the early years of college basketball. Their research and rankings are now included in many well-respected basketball histories and encyclopedias.

    An all-women's college founded in 1861, Vassar was at the forefront of pioneering achievements in women's rights and women's athletics, including fielding a women's baseball team in 1866 and opening the first gymnasium at a women's college. Mabel Welton was the coach of the 1895-96 Vassar College inaugural women's basketball team, which was also one of the very first women's basket teams in the country. Miss Welton was mentored by Basketball Hall of Famer Luther Gulick, who inspired James Naismith to invent the game and was instrumental in its development.

    It is safe to assume that Gulick sent Miss Welton the exemplar offered here (in the mailer affixed on its back) as the two pieces of correspondence (also appearing in this auction) from him encourage her to attend this specific contest. An extremely scare and important artifact from the earliest days of the game.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2019
    16th-17th Thursday-Friday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 171

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