Love of the Game February 2, 2013 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/3/2013
When it comes to Abner Doubleday's role in the creation of baseball, the evidence is clear: he had none.  And yet his name is as synonymous with "baseball" as hot dogs and shortstops, due entirely to the Mills Commission, a group formed in the early 1900s with a goal of proving the origin of the sport in the US.  Aimed at settling a dispute over whether or not baseball had a British origin (popular sentiment rejecting that theory), Cubs president Albert Spalding instructed the Mills commission to determine whether baseball was of British or American descent.

The "Doubleday Myth," stating that Union officer Abner Doubleday created baseball in Cooperstown, NY is 1839 was published in 1905 as a result of a claim made by then mining engineer Abner Graves.  Graves' recollection became the primary driver for the Mills Commission giving Doubleday credit for inventing baseball, claiming the game was American in origin.  Though largely disproven later, the myth continues to hold popular support (including that of current baseball commissioner Bud Selig), and Doubleday is still considered by many to be the "Father of Baseball."

Presented here are two extraordinary collectibles related to Doubleday: First, a Carte de Viste of Doubleday dating to 1865, the portrait part of famed Civil War photographer Matthew Brady's archive.  Brady, the best-known US photographer of the 19th Century, took thousands of photos that passed to E & HT Anthony of New York in default of payment for photographic supplies in the 1870s.  This CdV, published by E & HT Anthony, is likely one of those images.  The CdV presents extremely well, with four square corners and just mild wear on the surface, with outstanding image quality marked by no foxing whatsoever.  The reverse is strong but contains marks at the bottom normally associated with scrapbook removal as well as the word "Doubleday" and the number "41" written in pencil.  The Anthony/Brady logo is largely intact, with a very slight bit of excess scrapbook paper obscuring part of the word "Portrait" in "National Portrait Gallery."

Also presented is a lovely 1939 first day cover, including a 3-cent stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the invention of baseball.  The cover was mailed from Cooperstown, NY on June 12, 1939, the day that the Hall of Fame was dedicated.  The ornately-designed "First Day Issue" envelope features the Brady image of Doubleday, prominently displayed.  The face of the envelope is in remarkable condition, though the reverse is torn, consistent with having been sealed and perhaps once mounted in a scrapbook of some sort, and worn as one would expect with an item that has gone through the US Postal system.

Two excellent, historically significant artifacts related to the foundation of the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Doubleday Myth, and the very origins of baseball.
Abner Doubleday collection, including 1865 Brady CdV & First Day CoverAbner Doubleday collection, including 1865 Brady CdV & First Day CoverAbner Doubleday collection, including 1865 Brady CdV & First Day CoverAbner Doubleday collection, including 1865 Brady CdV & First Day Cover
Abner Doubleday collection, including 1865 Brady CdV & First Day Cover
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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $384
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Sunday, February 3, 2013.
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