Baseball’s original rules sell for $3.26 million


We recently linked a story from baseball’s official historian John Thorn about the 1857 meeting in which the rules of baseball, which had been played for some time, were revised, formalized and written down. Stuff like clubs agreeing that you have to catch a ball on the fly to be out and that sort of thing.

The notes of the meeting were written in longhand and they still exist. And, as Richard Sandomir notes in the New York Times, they just sold for a lot of money:

A group of documents from 1857 that set down some of the fundamental rules of baseball was acquired at auction Sunday by an unidentified buyer for $3.26 million, making it one of the highest-priced pieces of sports memorabilia . . . “Laws,” which was written by Daniel Adams, who was known as Doc, established rules such as nine men on a side, 90-foot base paths and nine innings to a game. Adams played for the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, where he pioneered the shortstop position, and later became its president as baseball’s popularity increased. He referred to batters as “strikers,” balks as “baulks” and runs as “aces.”

If these go for that kind of money, just imagine what the unwritten rules would go for.