Mastro Summer 2006
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Unlike baseball, whose origins are shrouded in mystery, the game of basketball was the brainchild of one man, Dr. James Naismith (1861-1939). In 1891 Naismith was studying at Springfield College in Massachusetts and was asked by his instructor in physical education to develop an indoor activity that would keep the students active and provide a more exciting alternative to calisthenics. The game Naismith devised was basketball and he presented the new sport, along with its original thirteen rules, to his fellow classmates. The experiment was a huge success and the game slowly spread throughout the land, resulting in it becoming the most popular indoor sport in America today. Though he was wholly responsible for its invention, Naismith never sought to capitalize on its success or bask in the glory of fame. His only reward was the enjoyment of those playing and watching the game. Presented is a collection of 27 items originating from the estate of Naismith's son, including 20 full and partial signatures. All but one example is penned entirely in Naismith's hand, and rate "8-10" evaluation. Includes: Postally Used Signed Envelopes (14) - A collection of 14 envelopes, postmarked between 1918 and 1937, and each with either a full or partial signature from Naismith. Eight are addressed to "Mrs. James Naismith," five are addressed to Naismith family members (with three of the examples sporting Naismith's name in the return address portion), and one is scripted to "Dr. Jas. Naismith." The envelopes present at the GD/VG to EX level with some missing their postage stamps or torn at one end—undoubtedly during their initial opening. Postcards (3) - A trio of postally used postcards, from 1909, 1916 and 1917, sent to Naismith family members. The pencil signatures include two signed "Jim" and one signed "Papa." Minimally EX display properties. Letter (1) - Double-sided letter (5-1/2" x 7-1/8") dated July 2, 1919 and signed "Papa" at its conclusion. EX. Signed Card (1) - 2-1/2" x 4" card (EX to EX/MT) with a color image of a player and the word "Basket Ball" at the top border, signed "Sincerely Yours / James Naismith / Laurence Kans / 1939" ("10") in black fountain pen. Pen (1) - Ballpoint pen from the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, featuring the sport's centennial logo. Telegram (1) - Western Union Telegram, dated 1926, inviting Naismith to a dinner in his honor. EX condition; Publications (5) - Five publications, presenting at the VG to EX level, with the Inter-Collegiate Association of Amateur Athletes America Constitution (1901, missing cover), The Reach National League Basket Ball Guide (1901-1902, taped cover), Official Basket Ball Rules (1919-1920), The College at Springfield Bulletin (1935) and Fundamentals of Basketball (undated). Signed Publication (1) - The Basis of Clean Living (1918) signed "Compliments of Jas. Naismith" on the inside cover in black ink. Overall EX appearance with peripheral toning. LOA from Steve Grad/PSA DNA and LOA from James Spence Authentication.
James Naismith Archive (27 Items) Including 20 Complete Or Partial Signatures!
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