4th Annual BHoF Induction Auction (#25)
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In the winter of 1891, when a thirty-year old physical education instructor from the local YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts named James Naismith invented an indoor game that could be played between football and baseball seasons, basketball was born. Naismith wrote and developed basketball's original thirteen rules and, through the YMCA network, quickly spread the news throughout the country. As basketball's popularity grew, Naismith neither sought publicity nor engaged in self-promotion. He was first and foremost an educator. He embraced recreational sport but shied away from the glory of competitive athletics. Although he never had the opportunity to see basketball become the astonishing success it is today, Naismith's biggest thrill came when he was sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) to witness basketball become an Olympic sport at the 1936 Games held in Berlin. Today, basketball has grown into a sport that more than 300 million people play worldwide. This vintage passport is British in origin and was issued to Naismith. Measuring approximately 4-1/4" x 7" closed, it unfolds to reveal a 10-panel (eight double sided panels) canvas measuring 13-1/2" x 21." On the front cover is a British coat of arms in gold. First page, partially printed and partially handwritten in fountain pen, reads "No. 2363, Passport, By His Brittanic Majesty's Consul General at New York, U.S.A....to allow James Naismith to pass freely..." The "Description of Bearer" page is quite interesting listing as vitals "Forehead: Medium," "Mouth: Small," "Chin: Prominent" and "Face: Square." Below this panel is an affixed 2-1/2" x 3" photo of Naismith and his signature on a panel, all edges covered with Consular stamps. The remaining endorsement panels show visas for Canada in 1917 and Paris in 1919. A real piece of personal basketball history from the inventor of the game, this passport is in about EX condition overall with some fraying on the right cover edge and some wear on folds inside. Signature grades a strong 8. Accompanied by a LOA from JSA.
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Minimum Bid: $2,500
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Number Bids: 11
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