Sandomir: Crucial 19th-century baseball rules document back on the auction block

From Richard Sandomir at the New York Times on February 27, 2016, with mention of SABR members John Thorn and Richard Hershberger:

When it was auctioned in 1999, a document called “Laws of Base Ball” had no known author but obvious significance. Within its pages were fundamental rules like nine men on a side and 90-foot basepaths. But the “Laws” — and two documents inspired by it — sold for only $12,650 in a Sotheby’s auction devoted to books and manuscripts.

Now, the buyer is turning into a seller in an online auction by SCP Auctions that will begin on April 6. And the author of “Laws” has a name: Daniel Adams, known as Doc, a significant figure in mid-19th-century baseball who has come to be viewed as a founding father of the game.

As a player for the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, Adams developed and played the shortstop position.

“As a captain,” he told the Sporting News in 1896, “I had to employ all my rhetoric to induce attendance, and often thought it useless to continue the effort, but my love for the game, and the happy hours spent at the Elysian Fields led me to persevere. During the summer months, many of our members were out of town, thus leaving a very short playing season.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: February 29, 2016. Last Updated: February 29, 2016.