1857 ‘Laws of Base Ball’ Document Heads to Auction

A 159-year-old document that helped establish the modern rules of baseball will be on the auction block this spring and may bring an historic price. Drafted in New York City during the game’s infancy, the “Laws of Base Ball” outlined the rules and guidelines by which players and clubs would follow when playing in “match games of base ball.”  Many of its proposed elemental rules, from setting base paths at 90 feet, to settling on nine players per team, to fixing the duration of the game at nine innings, owe their genesis to the document that was drafted during a convention of New York area baseball clubs in 1857.