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For Display Purposes Only!

1st Ever Public Basketball Game Played...

Item # 206238

March 12, 1892

(Not for Sale - Already Sold)  SPRINGFIELD REPUBLICAN, Massachusetts, March 12, 1892. This significant issue would be the cornerstone for any collection of basketball history memorabilia as it contains nothing less than a report of the very first public basketball game, and in a Springfield newspaper no less, the city where it was played and where the game was invented!

As a bit of history, James Naismith was a Canadian physical education instructor who invented the game of basketball. He developed this indoor game so that his students could participate in sports during the winter. In his original game, which he invented while at the Springfield, Massachusetts YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association), Naismith used a soccer ball which were thrown into peach baskets (with their bottoms intact). The first public basketball game was in Springfield, Massachusetts, on March 11, 1892. (courtesy of enchantedlearning.com). Page 6 of this issue contains a great report of this very game, headed "Basket Football Game". The report gives much detail including the names of the players, which included Naismith himself and also the famous football coach Alonzo Stagg who was a member of the Springfield College staff at that time. Stagg scored the only basket for the faculty team.

See the photos below for the complete text of this report which takes about 3 1/2 column inches.  Keep in mind that at this time when a basket was scored a ladder had to be procured to remove the ball from the basket. You get the complete 10 page issue, lightly browned at the edges with some minor archival mends near the margins, otherwise very nice.

This is the first time I have ever seen this issue offered for sale, and as such is an extremely significant item for any collection of basketball history. Given that  this was a local event with no national significance at that time it is very likely it was never reported in any other newspaper. A very rare opportunity.

We also have the complete bound volume of the Springfield Republican for January thru June, 1892 from which this issue game and which likely has follow-up and other early reports of basketball as well. Inquire if interested.

Category: Post-Civil War