A historic document described as the ‘Magna Carta of Baseball’ has sold for a record price at auction in the U.S.
Dating from 1857, the handwritten manuscript entitled ‘The Laws of Baseball’ was the first document to set out the rules of the modern game.
Regarded as one of the most historically important sporting documents ever sold, it sold at SCP Auctions for a record $3,263,246.
"The ‘Laws of Base Ball’ is a document of unparalleled importance in the history of America’s National Pastime," said SCP Auctions’ Vice President Dan Imler.
"Its gravitas was recognized by a diverse collection of astute bidders who pushed the bidding to a record level. This figure represents not only the highest price ever paid for a baseball document, but the third highest price ever for any piece of sports memorabilia."
The document was originally the work of Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, President of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club, who presented his ideas for new rules at the historic Base Ball Convention of 1857 in New York City.
This momentous meeting helped form baseball as we know it today, and Adams’ manuscript helped establish (amongst many other things) the length of base paths at 90 feet, the number of men to a side at nine, and the duration of the game at nine innings.
The document was the star lot of an online sports memorabilia sale which realized more than $7 million.
Baseball fans were also able to bid on items from the personal collection of Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, with highlights including his1963 L.A. Dodgers World Series championship ring which sold for $110,111, and his 1962 Cy Young Award which sold for $100,100.
Further notable lots included a rare complete set of 1952 Topps Baseball cards which realized $125,331; an extremely rare collection of unused, graded tickets from every one of 50 Super Bowls, which fetched $100,026; and the historic document which banned Pete Rose from baseball for life in 1989, which sold for $85,602.