The following story appeared on www.beckett.com on February 25, 2008
There are many myths surrounding the origins of baseball.
Many people believe that Abner Doubleday invented baseball one day in 1839 while in Cooperstown, New York.
That "myth" is definitely not true.
In reality, baseball evolved out of several different "bat and ball" games such as English Rounders, Cricket, and American Town Ball that had been around for centuries.
But there is one man who deserves the credit for establishing the fundamental rules of the sport and for organizing the first baseball game ... Alexander Cartwright.
Cartwright, a member of the Town Ball team the New York Knickerbockers, drew up clear rules designed to convert Town Ball into a more elaborate sport that Cartwright called Base Ball.
Cartwright's historical contributions to baseball have made his unimaginably scarce autographs key targets of both manufacturers and collectors.
Since 2003, Cartwright has had just two cut signature cards introduced into the marketplace via Upper Deck's SP Legendary Cuts brand. A third Cartwright cut signature recently surfaced courtesy of Donruss' Playoff National Treasures product, and recently sold for over $2,200 in an online auction.
The card was the first Cartwright cut signature sale that Beckett Baseball had tracked since 2004. According to Senior Price Guide editor Grant Sandground,
"We've tracked two previous sales of Cartwright cut signature cards. The first card, 2003 SP Legendary Cuts Autographs, was consigned through Sotheby's and sold via eBay in June 2005 for $6,500. The second card, 2004 SP Legendary Cuts Historical Cuts, failed to meet reserve when the bidding stalled at $5,600 in October, 2005. The same owner placed the card back up for sale on eBay in late February, 2006 and the card failed to draw an opening bid at the asking price of $6,600."
Considering the final hammer price for the most recent Cartwright cut signature offering was down 60 percent from previously established highs, the winning bidder walked away with one phenomenal, and historically significant, deal.
-- Kevin Haake