2019 October Legends Closing October 19
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In the winter of 1891, James Naismith was teaching physical education at the YMCA of Springfield, Massachusetts when he was tasked to come up with an indoor winter activity to keep the track athletes in shape as winter activities in New England were not, and are still not, conducive to outdoor activities. The native of Canada, who used to play a medieval game called “duck on a rock” where a player would have to guard a large rock from opposing players, who’s aim was to knock over that rock with smaller stones. Naismith figured out that the best method was to “lob” or “toss” the smaller stones instead of the straight shot that was commonly used. This was one of the influences he used to come up with this indoor game called “Basket Ball”.

Using peach baskets that were hung high on the wall on each end of the indoor gymnasium, Naismith developed, with his original “13 rules”, the beginnings of one of the most popular sports on the planet, basketball. Played by more than 300 million people worldwide, basketball’s origins began in a small town in southcentral Massachusetts, just north of the Connecticut border.

Basketball grew quickly from its first ever game in 1891, gaining traction when the YMCA, for whom Naismith was employed, introduced the game internationally in 1893. Luckily, Naismith kept a scrapbook. Naismith’s scrapbook, which includes numerous magazine and newspaper clippings going back as early as 1892, the year after the first basketball game was played, to its conclusion in 1936.

Goldin Auctions is proud to offer James Naismith’s very own scrapbook that chronicles the Naismith’s basketball history in its first 40+ years. Naismith, who started the University of Kansas’ basketball team after his arrival in 1898, coached Forrest “Phog” Allen, who’s coaching tree includes Hall of Famers Adolph Rupp and Dean Smith. This offered scrapbook has its pages bound in a navy colored book with a crimson binder and crimson “K” on the front. The inside cover has an April 1925 cover of a magazine with a picture of a woman holding a basketball, with the adjacent page having a “Top Notch Magazine A Basketball Story by Frank E. Carson” cover dated November 1, 1923. On the second full page is an article from the New York Times from their April 27, 1892 edition titled “A NEW GAME OF BALL * A SUBSTITUTE FOR FOOTBALL WITHOUT ITS ROUGH FEATURES”. There are numerous articles about basketball and articles involving James Naismith and this book has 64 front and back pages filled with content with 10 black pages towards the end. In addition, there are several pieces of “loose” pieces, including a photograph of an elderly Naismith fishing. The binder itself is in fair condition, showing edge wear and age wear. The inside paper is toned due to age, but still intact. This is an incredible piece of history emanating from the founder of basketball.

Please note that this lot has a 25% Buyer’s Premium (28% if payment is made using a credit card and/or is not paid within 10 days of invoice). Goldin Auctions will be donating 5% of the winning bid price to The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

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