Apr 27, 2017 - Sale 2444

Sale 2444 - Lot 268

Price Realized: $ 1,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(SPORTS--BASEBALL.) Kelly, Mike "King." Play Ball: Stories of the Diamond Field. 86, [10] pages. 8vo, original pictorial wrappers, worn and lacking rear wrapper; contents toned, edge wear to final 3 ad leaves. Boston, 1888

Additional Details

Michael J. "King" Kelly (1857-1894), the catcher of the Chicago White Stockings and Boston Red Stockings, was probably the best-known baseball player of his time, and an archetype of the American celebrity athlete. His on-field exploits were distinguished by creative trickery; it's sometimes said that half of the baseball rulebook was written to keep King Kelly from cheating. After the 1886 season, his contract was sold for a record $10,000; he performed on the vaudeville circuit in the offseasons, was a noted wit, and wrote the first baseball autobiography--"Play Ball." It is a highly readable collection of baseball anecdotes from Kelly's boyhood through the peak of his stardom. Only 10 copies in OCLC, and two traced at auction.