The first recorded baseball game was played in Hoboken, NJ in 1846 between the NYC Knickerbocker Base Ball Club and the New York Baseball Club (the Knickerbockers lost). By 1858, the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed, consisting of around 30 small teams. After the Civil War, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first professional fully-paid team.

Over the next hundred years, a number of leagues emerged, including the National Association, American League, National League, Federal League, and Continental (items from defunct leagues are highly sought after today).

Baseball cards are widely collected today. The earliest incarnations (1840s) were cardboard-backed photos of local players and teams, which came in cabinet card size and the smaller carte-de-visite size. Commercial baseball cards emerged in the late 1860s when a sporting goods dealer called Peck & Snyder printed cards with an ad on one side and a baseball player on the other. Within a few years, cards began appearing in packages of Old Judge tobacco and other tobacco, candy and chewing gum brands.

Other promotional items such as baseball programs became popular in the 1890s. Advertisers bought space on these score cards, and cards from famous games (e.g. the World Series) are highly sought-after. Other collectible promotional items include gloves, statuettes, plaques, posters, and pins.

And of course, there's a huge market for authentic baseball memorabilia linked to specific players, including greats such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, and Willie Mays. They produced plenty of signed baseballs, bats, gloves, photos, and other autographs. But be careful, as fake sports memorabilia is a lucrative business.

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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Probe of confiscated baseball memorabilia finds no criminal wrongdoing, NJ ..., March 26th

The state attorney general's office has closed an investigation of an auction of confiscated baseball memorabilia by the Bergen County prosecutor's office after finding no evidence of criminal wrongdoing. The investigation stemmed from a series of news ...Read more

Franklin hosting Vintage Baseball convention
The Daily Times, March 22nd

The Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball has been selected to host the 2015 Vintage Base Ball National Convention, the organization announced. Players and officials from all across the country will flock to the Franklin Cool Springs Marriott on...Read more

Rochester Base Ball Club brings Vintage baseball to life at RCTC, March 22nd

(ABC 6 News) - Baseball is regarded as America's past-time, but on Sunday, in unique fashion, many baseball players were able to bring the past to the present. Just by looking outside, it's easy to tell with snow on the ground that it's not quite...Read more

Vintage baseball team plays America's Pastime like its 1865
KTTC, March 22nd

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- For some people, America's pastime is a source of nostalgia that links the past to the future. That's especially true for the Roosters Vintage Base Ball Club of Rochester, whose style of baseball takes things back to the '60s...Read more

Piney Flats' Droke master restorer of vintage baseball gloves
Kingsport Times News, March 22nd

Droke estimates at least 500 antique baseball gloves and mitts have passed through his hands since he began what he thought would be a casual craft hobby. He's not only learned a lot about leather craft; he also has learned a great deal about the...Read more

Chambersburg auction to feature rare, vintage baseball cards, March 18th

(Chambersburg) -- The auction of an extensive collection of rare and vintage baseball cards is expected to draw considerable interest from collectors near and far. The collection features cards almost as old as baseball itself as well as other...Read more

Vintage baseball on big-time roll
Napa Valley Register, March 11th

Vintage Baseball. Raphael Kluzniok/Register. Vintage High School's Jake MacNichols, left, scores as Sacramento High's pitcher Chris Rliford looks on during Wednesday's game at Cleve Borman Field in Yountville. 2015-03-11T19:57:00Z ...Read more

Chattanooga's new vintage baseball teams play first exhibition
WRCB-TV, March 8th

FORT OGLETHORPE, GA (WRCB)-- Sunday, we got our first look at the two newest entrants into the Tennessee Vintage Baseball League, Chattanooga's Mountain City Club versus the Chattanooga Lightfoots. Both teams call Fort Oglethorpe's Polo Field at ...Read more