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Baseball memorabilia from 1862 up for auction in US

PORTLAND, Maine--An auction house that sold a 148-year-old baseball card is now selling even older baseball memorabilia that features a Union team decimated by a Civil War battle.

Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford has a scorecard, four tickets and three concession passes from an 1862 game featuring the Washington Nationals and 71st Regiment of the New York Militia.

The militia won a game 42-13 in 1861 but lost the rematch 28-13 the following year after several team members died in the Battle of Bull Run in Virginia, said Troy Thibodeau from Saco River.

The auction will be held on Feb. 19.

Thibodeau said collectors are fascinated about baseball's origins.

“Everything we see in baseball today had its roots in that era. And nothing survived from that era. When something did survive, that makes it amazing,” he said. “This one appeals to Civil War collector and early baseball collectors.”

The tickets are actually military passes for the game, Thibodeau said. Among the other items are a newspaper clipping and an invitation from the team president, he said.

And collectors have shown they're willing to pay for unique memorabilia.

Last year, a collector from Newburyport, Massachusetts, paid US$92,000 for an 1865 baseball card depicting the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club. In its book “Baseball Americana,” the Library of Congress described the item as the first dated baseball card. There were only two of them known to be in existence.

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