In 1876, a group of owners and team officials gathered at a New York hotel to draft and sign the constitution that created baseball’s National League and would ultimately have ramifications far beyond the diamond. The principles the document laid out, largely the work of Chicago White Stockings owner William Hulbert, would provide the basic model for every major team sports league in the world that followed. The constitution is getting a public airing for the first time in more than a century when it’s put up for sale by SCP Auctions of Laguna Niguel, California, starting Wednesday.
Base-ball, as it was called in the mid-1800s, was a lawless enterprise. Alcohol, gambling, rudeness, disloyalty and quitting (by players and teams) in the middle of a season, players sitting among the spectators, spectators disrupting play on the field were symptoms of a game that was in many ways considered disgraceful.
In the wake of its record-breaking $3.26 million sale last spring of the 1857 Laws of Base Ball documents, SCP Auctions has unveiled the recently discovered 1876 Founding Documents and Original Constitution of Major League Baseball, a hand-written, 74-page sports artifact, which will go up for auction May 24. Bidding will close June 10.
A rare Honus Wagner T206 baseball card that could fetch upwards of $1.5 million is up for auction later this month. One of the most sought-after baseball cards in history, the T206 features a youthful Wagner in his Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, his hair parted down the middle. Wagner is considered one of the Pirates’ all-time greatest baseball players.
A Peachtree City man is ready to part ways with a treasured baseball card. Back in 1995, Ross Greene paid nearly $48,500 for a Honus Wagner baseball card. While that may seem like a hefty price, last year someone paid $3.12 million for what’s considered the holy grail of baseball cards.
It could be called the Ten Commandments of Major League Baseball, even though it’s 74 pages long. Or perhaps, since it has just been discovered, it could be baseball’s version of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Regardless, the 1876 “Founding Documents and Original Constitution of Major League Baseball” are a valuable piece of sports memorabilia. The documents will go on sale May 24 in online bidding sponsored by SCP Auctions.
A year after selling the much-publicized 1857 “Laws of Base Ball” for $3.26 million last year, SCP Auctions will offer the documents that led to the formation of Major League Baseball beginning next month. The 1876 “Founding Documents and Original Constitution of Major League Baseball,” is a previously unknown hand-written, 74-page artifact that auction officials say is of “unprecedented historical significance.”
On Feb. 2, 1876, Chicago White Stockings president William Hulbert called a meeting with the owners of several National Association teams beset by financial troubles and a lack of meaningful central authority, the N.A. was floundering, and Hulbert wanted to create something better from its ashes. By the end of the day, the National League was born.