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Handwritten Founding Rules of This Sport Sell for $3.26 Million at Auction — But What’s the Highest Price Ever Paid for a Piece of Sports Memorabilia?

Apr 25, 2016  •  Post A Comment

A set of the founding rules of one of the major U.S. sports has brought a stunning price at auction. “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,” The New York Times reports.

“’Laws of Base Ball’ was put up for online bidding this month by SCP Auctions; the price paid was the most ever for a baseball document but below the $4.3 million paid in 2010 for James Naismith’s original 13 rules of basketball,” The Times reports. “The most expensive piece of sports memorabilia is a Babe Ruth jersey from 1920 that sold for $4.4 million in 2012.”

The report adds: “’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.’”

The set of documents reportedly was auctioned once before, by Sotheby’s in 1999, when it sold for $12,650.

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