Rare Book Monthly

Articles - May - 2016 Issue

Laws of Baseball

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The laws of base ball [1857]

Recently SCP Auctions, who specialize in sports memorabilia, sold “Laws of Base Ball” for $3.26 million.  It’s a great price although 25% less than the same house sold, in 2012, a Babe Ruth 1920 jersey for $4.4 million.  Baseball is a significant collectible category.  For collectors who preferred jewelry Don Drysdale’s 1963 and 1965 championship rings brought $110,111 and $91,000.  For low-rent jersey buyers a 1956 Drysdale jersey brought $82,727 or $82,731 with dry cleaning.  Not included in the sale was a first folio by William Shakespeare that would have traded for about the price of the “Laws of Baseball” but at a big discount to Babe Ruth’s 1920 jersey.

 

Commentators explained that Ruth had a better year.

 

Members of the Stratford-on-Avon set could, if poked, have pointed out that Shakespeare has been around for four hundred years to which, on ESPN, no doubt commentators would have reminded the brethren that “it’s how well, not how long, you play that matters.”

 

And as to his knuckleball

 

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

 

Just like this article.

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