Anyone who saw Yale's thrilling double-overtime, come-from-behind win over Harvard in 2019 knows that the age-old rivalry is alive and well nearly 150 years after its inception. Immortalized simply as "The Game," Harvard and Yale's annual battles date back to 1875, when the squads made history with each side wearing their own matching uniforms to play the newfangled, rugby-style sport. Tickets cost a rather princely sum of 50 cents as 2,000 spectators filled Yale's Hamilton Park to witness the Crimson defeat the Bulldogs by a score of 4-0. A young, pint-sized Eli by the name of Walter Camp would go on to play an influential role in establishing the formal rules of the gridiron, earning himself the title, "Father of American Football."
Yes, it all begins here with this rare surviving program, examples of which have sold at auction for upwards of $6,500 and are no doubt on a sharp trajectory to $10,000+ in the near future. On offer is a gorgeously clean, bright and sturdy beauty with the added asset of period fountain-pen notations recording the Referee, Judges and Goals. A couple of minuscule pinholes and a minute edge tear at bottom center are the only flaws worthy of mention. Dare we also say that the cover engraving of a round "Y.U.F.B.C." (Yale University Foot Ball Club) ball just so happens to feature copyright attribution mirroring our own company name—H&S? But we digress. The 4" x 5-1/2" program represents a quintessential artifact of both the game and The Game—whose pandemic-postponed 137th edition is now set for New Haven in November.