Thorn: History awakens: the National League’s 1876 founding documents

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on April 24, 2017:

Remember the “Laws of Base Ball,” the stunning discovery that came into view last year? That trio of documents from 1857, in draft and formal states — defining baseball, for the first time, as a game of nine men, nine innings, and ninety-foot basepaths — had languished in the desk of a Knickerbocker Base Ball Club descendant for nearly a century and a half. When bidding closed at SCP Auctions, the winning sum for this improbable survivor (no one could have imagined that it existed) was $3.26 million. [For more, see:]

I was lucky enough to have had a consulting role on what was, for any baseball prospector, the find of a lifetime. Yet now, remarkably, the market success of the “Laws of Base Ball” appears to have prompted another attic to yield up a long-held treasure: the founding documents of Major League Baseball from 1876. This “first draft of history” was unknown to me and, I expect, to everyone else. Once again, SCP invited me to dust off my deerstalker and magnifying glass.

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Originally published: April 24, 2017. Last Updated: April 24, 2017.