1859 Brooklyn Atlantics Presentation Baseball

Value (2010) | $20,000 Auction$30,000 Insurance
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GUEST:
This was given to me a few years ago by my grandfather. It was given to him originally by a groundskeeper that worked for Ebbets Field, which was in Brooklyn, New York, where my grandfather's originally from. They moved to Florida in the early '60s, and it sat in a sock in a box in a closet for the past 50 years.

APPRAISER:
Here you can see that it's dated June 23 of 1859. And what it is is when they played games, they would commemorate their games and celebrate that they played a game by stamping it as such. But here's what makes this ball interesting. The Brooklyn Atlantics were the first champions of organized baseball, the first champions of an organized league-- the National Association of Baseball Players. If baseball has roots, here it is. This is it.

GUEST:
That's what I figured.

APPRAISER:
The Brooklyn Atlantics, no association with the Dodgers at all. They began in, I believe, 1855 and they were done in the 1870s. So this is a pre-Civil War heirloom; it's a treasure.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
I daresay this is the oldest sports piece the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW has ever had.

GUEST:
Really?

APPRAISER:
It's got some condition defects, and that's to be expected. Finding a baseball from the early part of the 20th century is hard enough, let alone one 50 years before that. It's handmade, it was hand stitched. We see that the ball is stamped with a "29" at the end of "Atlantic." We really don't know what that refers to. We also see here that it shows time and what appears to be "15." It's difficult to place that in any kind of context. What's significant here is the date. The way to preserve this is definitely not to keep it in a sock. I think you put it in a ball case, you store it away somewhere dark and dry.

GUEST:
Yeah, yeah.

APPRAISER:
At auction, this ball has a value of $20,000-plus.

GUEST:
Really? Wow.

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
Were I to insure it, I'd go with $30,000.

GUEST:
Really? Well, thanks a lot.

APPRAISER:
My pleasure.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Premier Auctions LLC
Tempe, AZ
Appraised value (2010)
$20,000 Auction$30,000 Insurance
Event
Miami Beach, FL (July 10, 2010)
Period
19th Century
Form
Baseball

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