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Henry Chadwick. Beadle’s Dime Base-Ball Player (Signed).

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Henry Chadwick. Beadle’s Dime Base-Ball Player (Signed).

FINE BOOKS. New York, 1860. The Book That Transformed Baseball: The First Guide for the American Public, by the "Father of Baseball" (his personal copy!).

Price: $50,000


• The ball must be pitched, not jerked or thrown to the bat.

• The striker is out after swinging and missing three balls if the behind catches the third strike on the fly or first bounce.

• If three balls are struck at, and missed, and the last one is not caught, either flying or upon the first bound, it shall be considered fair, and the striker must attempt to make his run.

• The striker is out if a fair ball is struck, and the ball is caught either without having touched the ground, or upon the first bound.

• If an adversary stops a ball with his hat or cap, or takes it from the hands of a party not engaged in the game, no player can be put out unless the ball shall first have settled in the hands of the pitcher.

• Clubs may adopt such rules respecting balls knocked beyond or outside of bounds of the field, as circumstances of the ground may demand; and these rules shall govern all matches played upon the ground, provided that they are distinctly made known to every player and umpire, previous to the commencement of the game.

• The player is out if the ball is in the hands of a base tender before the runner steps on the base.

• If two ballists are already out, no player running home at the time the ball is struck can make ace if the striker is put out.

• The hurler must deliver the ball as near as possible over the center of home for the striker.

• Foul balls do not count as strikes.

• Any ball first touching the ground or touched by a player within the base lines is fair, even if it goes foul thereafter.

• An ace shall be tallied when a base runner steps on the home base.

• No person engaged in a match, either as umpire, scorer or player shall be, either directly or indirectly, interested in any bet upon the game.

HISTORY OF BEADLE’S GUIDES: Beadle’s is the earliest set of baseball guides, published annually from 1860 to 1881. Chadwick was its editor. It ceased publication in 1881 when Chadwick became the editor of the Spalding Guide. The annual circulation was said to number 50,000 copies! The 1860 Beadle guide literally transformed baseball into a spectator sport as it was the first guide book published for and available to the general public (preceded only by an 1859 baseball player’s pocket companion for the players) and virtually launched the Baseball Press.

WHO WAS HENRY CHADWICK: An avid promoter of Baseball throughout his life, Henry Chadwick (1824–1908) became the game's chief journalistic voice and its moral conscience during the game's early years. He coined the phrase “in the best interests of baseball” as he attacked drinking among players, gambling, and the “throwing” of games (He actually even opposed playing games on Sunday!). Chadwick arrived in America in 1837 and clearly saw baseball as an evolution of the “rounders” game in his native England. He made baseball the American pastime, authoring the sport’s first rule book, devising batting averages and inventing box scores, earned run averages, and the scoring system in use to this very day. Chadwick was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1938.

RARITY OF OUR EDITION: For the baseball world this very copy of this book is equivalent to Gutenberg’s personal copy of his first printed Bible, or Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the first printed copy of the Declaration of Independence. For the baseball world this very copy of this book is represents a unique opportunity for the astute and adventuresome collector to come closest to the true first fan of the game, who, more than anyone else can be credited with transforming baseball into the cultural and historic phenomena it has become as America’s National pastime. There are only 3 other known copies of this book; this is the ONLY copy that is signed.

CHADWICK, Henry. Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player: A Compendium of the Game, comprising Elementary Instructions of this American Game of Ball; together with the Revised Rules and Regulations for 1860; Rules for the Formation of Clubs; Names of the officers and Delegates to the General Conventions, &c. New York: Irwin P. Beadle & Co. 141 William St., Cor. Fulton, [1860].

Original brown cloth over thin board bound-in later tan buckrum, (lacking yellow wrappers), 40pp. Full page diagram of a Base Ball field and position of the fielders (p.4). Light waterstaining in upper and lower corners and outer margin, old marginal trim to title page, otherwise a beautiful copy.


SIGNED “HENRY CHADWICK / CLIPPER OFFICE” ON FRONT FLYLEAF. With letter of authenticity, dated October 14, 1925, by John T. Doyle, President, American Sports Publishing Company, publisher of Spalding sport guides, who was a friend and colleague of Chadwick. In 1858 Chadwick became the first baseball editor of a newspaper, which he held at the New York Clipper. Hence, the inscription “Clipper Office” accompanying his signature.

Chadwick's Signature