Baseball’s original rules sell for $3.26 million

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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.

Free agent slugger José Abreu signs 3-year deal with Astros

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Jose Abreu and the World Series champion Astros agreed to a three-year contract, adding another powerful bat to Houston’s lineup.

Abreu, the 2020 AL MVP, spent his first nine major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox. The first baseman became a free agent after batting .304 with 15 home runs, 75 RBIs and an .824 OPS this year.

With the Astros, he replaces Yuli Gurriel at first base in a batting order that also features All-Star sluggers Yordan Alvarez, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker.

Gurriel became a free agent after Houston defeated the Philadelphia Phillies this month for its second World Series championship.

The 35-year-old Abreu becomes the biggest free agent to switch teams so far this offseason. Born in Cuba, the three-time All-Star and 2014 AL Rookie of the Year is a .292 career hitter in the majors with 243 homers, 863 RBIs and an .860 OPS.

The Astros announced the signing. Abreu is scheduled to be introduced in a news conference at Minute Maid Park.