The 1857 'Laws of Base Ball' just sold at auction for more than $3 million
Certain baseball rules are less rules of the sport and more laws of nature: It's 90 feet to first, there are nine innings in a game, etc. You don't really think about them, they just are. But in order to even have rules like that, someone, a long time ago, had to write them down.
Well, that person was Daniel "Doc" Adams, and his 1857 "Laws of Base Ball" just sold for $3.26 million at auction. According to The New York Times:
Adams wrote these rules, some of the earliest ever, as part of a convention of teams that got together to revise the Knickerbocker Club's rules -- a process not unlike the crafting of the laws of our country. He was a practicing doctor who, according to CBS, invented the shortstop position. And, it appears, he played a significant role in building the game that became MLB. While some of his original rules were slightly different than the 2016 Official Baseball Rules -- bats, for example, could be any length -- and there were a lot of twists along the way, we owe it to these pages for a lot of what we take as simple fact today.
The hand-written pages were sold to an anonymous buyer during a two-week auction, and the $3.26 million winning bid makes them the third-most valuable piece of sports memorabilia ever sold, after a 1920 Babe Ruth jersey and James Naismith's Rules of Basketball. It's also not a bad return on investment, considering the seller originally bought the "Laws" back in 1999 for $12,650.