He covers the rules of a game, based on the English games of rounders and cricket, alternatively known as ‘round ball’.
Accompanying this section on page 40 is the famous woodcut illustration Playing Ball of boys playing on Boston Common, the first known image of an American baseball game (see above).
Printed in Boston by Lilly, Wait, Colman, and Holden in 1834, the publication date provides evidence of baseball’s existence prior to 1839 – once considered the ‘founding’ date of the sport.
Fewer than 10 copies of the book are known to exist. This one wellpreserved book was formerly owned by William Stahley Troxell (1893-1957) of Allentown, Pennsylvania, the popular German language author who went by the name Pumpernickel Bill.
Guided at $800-1200 as part of the Jeffrey S Evans (plus 25% buyer’s premium) Americana auction that ran from August 24-26 in Mount Crawford, Virginia, it took $3250 (£2570).