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‘Laws of Base Ball’ from 1857 sell for $3.26 million

A list of baseball’s rules written back in the 1800’s sold for $3.26 million at auction.

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A bidding war over a 159-year-old handwritten document listing the rules of the game of baseball led to the piece selling for over $3.2 million Saturday.

The “Laws of Base Ball” were written out by the president of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club back in 1857 and served as the basis of that year’s Base Ball Convention, where many rules that still exist today were codified, including the 90-foot length of the basepaths, according to Sports Collectors Daily.

Dan Imler, vice president of SCP Auctions, which handled the sale, told Sports Collectors Daily the high price tag put the papers in record-breaking territory.

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“This figure represents not only the highest price ever paid for a baseball document, but the third highest price ever for any piece of sports memorabilia.”

 The figure is high but likely would pale in comparison to the price that could be fetched for the original listing of baseball’s much talked about “unwritten rules.”

– Brendan Maloy