A founding document of Major League Baseball is set to auction in June.
The 1876 text lays out the ground rules for the professional game.
While baseball had been played professionally since 1869, by the late 1870s the model was starting to creak and it was clear it needed updating.
The new rules were agreed between the league's eight original teams
On February 2, 1876 a meeting was held between the eight original teams of the National League (hosted by Chicago White Sox owner WA Hulbert).
This text was the outcome.
A copy of the finalised document was given to each of the teams. This is the only specimen known to have survived.
It’s been hidden away in a private collection until now.
As Dan Imler, president of SCP Auctions, told USA Today: “This is a huge revelation.
“This is not a document that has made the rounds publicly. It’s never been exhibited in a major institution. It’s never been sold previously in a prior auction. It has never appeared anywhere.”
Last year Doc Adams’ The Laws of Base Ball (1857), which codifies the rules of the modern game, sold for $3.2m.
There’s no estimate available for the present lot, but as a fundamentally important piece of baseball history it’s guaranteed to attract keen bidders.
The online sale will run between May 24 and June 10.
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