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First printing of baseball rules and regulations proposed to the first baseball convention...



Item # 673908

February 28, 1857

PORTER'S SPIRIT OF THE TIMES, New York, Feb. 28, 1857 

* Historic baseball periodical
* New fundamental rules
* "Baseball's Magna Carta"
* For Baseball Convention of 1857


An extremely significant issue on the history of baseball, as an inside page has almost an entire column taken up with: "Base Ball" "The Base Ball Convention And Their New Rules".
The introductory paragraph notes in part: "This body, which consists of delegates from most, if not all, of the Ball Clubs in this vicinity, held their adjourned meeting on Wednesday [Feb. 25]...when the following report was to be submitted from the Committee on Rules and Regulations for the government af all the matches...At the hour we go to press it is impossible for us to say whether the report was accepted or not. We have taken but a hasty glance at the rules--24 in all--and if we can form an opinion about them in their present shape, we should say they are too diffuse & that the pruning-knife will be necessary before a final adoption...".
It is followed by a letter from the Chairman of the Committee appointed at the Convention containing the revised "...code of rules and regulations for the government of match games..." which were recommended by the committee.
Hereafter are the "Rules And Regulations" which were recommended, containing 34 sections. This is the first printing of a formalized rules and regulations of baseball, appearing in this publication just 3 days after the convention. Note that the very bottom that: "...Unfortunately, it is too late for us to give any further report of the proceedings."
Ultimately the 34 rules were adopted very much as published here with the exception to a change in sections 5, 6, 8, 16, 17 and 27, and the addition of a new section 35 which notes: "Whenever a match shall have been determined upon between two clubs, play shall be called at the exact hour appointed; and should either party fail to produce their players within fifteen minutes thereafter, the party so failing shall admit a defeat."
One source notes that the 1857 Convention of Base Ball Players was perhaps the most important meeting in the history of baseball. It was a meeting of the baseball clubs of New York City, and unlike the previous meeting in 1854, it became the basis for a permanent organization that a year later would take the name the National Association of Base Ball Players.
Complete in 16 pages, 10 3/4 by 15 3/4 inches, very nice condition.

Note: Although extremely rare, another of this issue (same date, title, and condition) recently (Feb. 2021) sold at a renowned auction for over $1,900. 

Item from Catalog 304 (released for March, 2021)...

Category: Pre-Civil War