The granddaughter of basketball inventor James Naismith finally got around to looking at those old boxes of Grandpa’s stuff. Now she’s about to cash in.
Baseball can trace it’s origins back over 150 years..maybe longer. Not so with basketball, where there’s no question who invented the game. His descendants, still living in Kansas, have living memories of the man.
James Naismith invented basketball to keep his physical education students in line during the cold winter months. He was a coach and teacher who’s game is now played around the world.
His granddaughter inherited some boxes and decided to peek inside when she went into the family’s basement to retrieve an old family picture.
Included are the first rules of basketball; photos of the first basketball team and basketball court, and Naismith’s description of the very first game; a whistle Naismith used as the first basketball coach in Kansas University history; and the passport he used to attend the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympics.
Handwritten and highly detailed manuscript describing the events of the
first basketball game in December, 1891. "This ranks among the most
important and significant athletic texts ever put on paper," notes Heritage Galleries Director of Auctions Chris Ivy. Heritage will conduct the auction December 8.
"Imagine, for example, if one were to unearth a handwritten text by Alexander Cartwright recounting the first baseball game at Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. Only a document such as that could compare."
Dr. Naismith’s personal copy of the 1891 Springfield College class photograph. "The participants in the very first basketball game are pictured here, along with the inventor himself," explained Ivy. "To the best of our knowledge, this is the only surviving example of this incredible photo, and the fact that it was Dr. Naismith’s personal copy increases the appeal exponentially."
Dozens of autographs in various formats. "Handwritten letters, signed photographs, and signatures cut from checks and removed from books will
provide an unprecedented opportunity for collectors to bring this tremendously scarce autograph into their collections," said Ivy. "One shouldn’t be fooled into believing that Naismith autographs are anything other extremely rare-this auction probably more than doubles the known population in the hobby."