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Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 20 2008 at 3:06 PM
MurphyBrooks  (Login MurphyBrooks)

 
I recently inherited a Zimmer's Baseball Game from 1893 in excellent condition (besides missing the bat it almost looks new - I'll post a picture tonight). I am not a collector, but from what my father told me I understand this game is very rare. My father picked it up at a farm auction maybe 20 years ago, and I know before he died he told a memoriabilia auctioneer he owned one, and the auctioneer didn't believe him!

Can anyone here be kind enough to tell be how to go about selling this, and about how much it would sell for?

pictures are below
If you know anything about the three other items (Utica Baseball Scorecard (NY, International, American and National League (Christy Mathewson got the win for NY)), National Baseball Trade Game, or the autographed Negro League Legends (#75/250 on 4/93), please let me know.

Thanks.

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This message has been edited by MurphyBrooks on Feb 20, 2008 9:56 PM


 
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Dan Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 20 2008, 3:32 PM 

The Zimmer game is exceedingly rare and valuable. It is the king of all baseball board games...I'm not sure what it would sell for nowadays, but it is surely in the 5 figures. Also not sure when the last one sold.

Can't wait to see your pics of the game.

edited to add: It's too late to get it into the REA and Mastro April auctions as far as I know and either of those venues would be your best bet as to where to sell it. Make sure you negotiate a 0% consignor fee if you go with an auction house.


    
This message has been edited by slidekellyslide on Feb 20, 2008 3:35 PM


 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 20 2008, 5:33 PM 

The Zimmer Game is the finest of all baseball board games, and the most valuable. It's hurts it somewhat that the bat is missing, but more importantly, how clean is the game's surface? Are all the player portraits clear? That is probably the most important factor.

 
 
Butch & Co.
(Login Butch7999)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 20 2008, 11:20 PM 

Murphy, great item, thanks for the pics. It's in exceptionally nice shape, the broken bat notwithstanding -- that should be an easy and inexpensive bit of restoration, so it should have next to zero impact on any auction price. Whether Zimmer's is the finest of all games is very much a matter of taste and opinion (we'd say it's the T206 Wagner of games, with all that implies), but Barry's right, the overall condition is key and yours is exemplary. Five figures should be a shoo-in.

We've seen or heard of only one reasonably complete example selling in the last eight years, and that one -- nice, but not as sweet as yours -- fetched $10,440. at REA not quite three years ago. Two sold at Hunt in the late '90s, but we don't have details on their condition. One brought $7,500. The other went off at $27,500. REA, Hunt, Mastro, or Lelands would be your target venue.

No opinion on the Utica scorecard nor the Negro Legends item, but the National punchboard, while collectible, is probably not a big-ticket number. Some rare or elaborately illustrated punchboards can reach or top $200., but this one's a sort of generic piece that would probably go for $20.-$40. tops. Just our opinion.


 
 
Corey R. Shanus
(Login benjulmag)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 12:20 AM 

From the pictures the game appears to be in exceptionally fine condition. As to its value, it is a classic auction piece. To my knowledge there have been no transactions of high condition Zimmer games in a good several years. As noted, the bat should be restored. What impact that will have on its value is hard to say but IMO it will have some impact. The one Hunt sold some years ago for 27.5k, besides also being in exceptional condition (though not as nice as what your's appears to be) also I believe came with the box lid (and in very nice condition at that) which is very unusual. Shortly after the Hunt sale one sold privately (again in exceptional condition with the box lid and with some of the game pieces) for a price around what Hunt realized.

 
 
barrysloate
(Login barrysloate)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 7:40 AM 

The condition of the board is exceptional, and I think the piece would do extremely well at auction.

 
 
Corey R. Shanus
(Login benjulmag)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 9:25 AM 

I might add that missing the bat can from a certain perspective be regarded as having ADDED value to your game. Often times these games appear with tremendous wear around both the pitching and the batting mechanisms. After all, if was a game meant to be played and every time a ball was pitched or the bat swung a tiny bit of degragation was generated on the board service. Without the bat, the game could not be played thereby preventing this degragation from occuring. Yes, not having the bat will most likely reduce the price somewhat. But that reduction, due to the tremendous eye appeal of the board, IMO will probably be considerably less than the reduction had there been material wear on areas of the board surface.

 
 
Brock G.
(Login griffis16)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 9:52 AM 

That is a true treasure my friend. To think that game is some 115 years old and shows so little wear and has such vibrant colors is really amazing, especially considering it was intended to be played with. As Corey said, the fact that the bat is missing may be a blessing in disguise as it probably kept the game from being used much, in turn preserving its condition. Get the bat repleaced, send it to REA, and cash in on the small fortune its worth. Congrats.

 
 
MurphyBrooks
(Login MurphyBrooks)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 12:36 PM 

Thanks for the information everyone.

I talked to Robert Edward Auctions, and they are excited to be able to squeeze the Zimmer Game into their April Auction. They told me it was the best example they've ever seen - better than the one they gave to the Hall of Fame.


    
This message has been edited by MurphyBrooks on Feb 21, 2008 12:38 PM


 
 
bruce Dorskind
(Login Yankeefan51)

Our Zimmer Game

February 21 2008, 1:02 PM 

This is an extraordinary piece of baseball history

To learn more, we suggest you read Mark Cooper's wonderful
book on baseball games.

We purchased our Zimmer Game (with the bat) in 1989 for $20,000
We predict your game will bring $40,000 to $50,000 in the REA
Auction

Several years ago a game was discovered with the box top.

Good luck...you certainly made the proper choice in deciding to
sell through Robert Edward Auctions. For ultra rare, expensive
items, they are far and away the best venue


Bruce Dorskind
America's Toughest Want List

 
 

Max Weder
(Login baseballart)
Chatlist

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 21 2008, 4:31 PM 

All I can say is: what a great piece. Unbelievable.

Max


 
 

CarltonHendricks
(Login CarltonHendricks)

Great game

February 21 2008, 11:16 PM 

Congrats Murphy on a great piece, and $getting$ it into REA last minute…you’ve contributed some excitement to our hobby! We were just discussing Zimmers not long ago, in a Nov 9th 2007 string, link below:

http://tinyurl.com/2l27cf>


    
This message has been edited by CarltonHendricks on Feb 22, 2008 1:46 PM


 
 
John H.
(Login johnh19)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 1:12 PM 

Awesome piece! Congratulations and good luck in the auction.

John

 
 

Dan Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 1:12 PM 

Heh. Rob should be giving us a commission. How many items have been featured here by a newbie and directed to REA?

 
 
MurphyBrooks
(Login MurphyBrooks)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 1:16 PM 

Your responses and emails are the reason I gave it to REA...and the fact I work about half an hour from their office.

 
 

Dan Bretta
(Login slidekellyslide)
Network 54 Moderator

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 2:04 PM 

Well, you can't go wrong with REA. Your game is well out of my budget, but I look forward to watching it go off in the auction.

 
 

Joe K.
(Login vintagesportscollector)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 3:07 PM 

Murphy - Where do you work? I live in Westfield - a stones throw from REA. Maybe I can come over one night and we can play the game He He. That is if I can ever dig my car out from all this snow we are getting.

Congrats!!
-Joe

 
 
Jon Canfield
(Login canjond)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 4:07 PM 

Joe - where is Westfield do you live? I lived there for a summer a few years back while finishing law school but now live in NYC.

 
 
MurphyBrooks
(Login MurphyBrooks)

Re: Zimmer's Baseball Game

February 22 2008, 8:58 PM 

Ha - you need to visit REA if you want to play the game - I dropped it off with them yesterday.

 
 

Jeff W.
(Login Comisky)

Wow

February 22 2008, 10:38 PM 

Just want to add that this board game is an incredible piece! Congrats and good luck with the auction.

Also, I provided a link to sports collectors daily which has a small youtube video on it. On the video, a collector shares his collection, which includes a Zimmer Baseball game. He actually shows it and talks in brief about the history of this board game.

http://www.sportscollectorsdaily.com/latest/boston-garter-mathewson-the-67-000-bookmark.html

Once again, Thanks for sharing
Jeff W.

 
 
 
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