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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Old Cardboard

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Check out this well-organized collection of 500 sets of baseball cards, each over 50 years old. Browsable by type a… [read review or visit site]

The Baseball Card Blog

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Ben Henry's lively vintage baseball card blog, started in January 2006, offers hundreds of great posts on (and pict… [read review or visit site]

Cardboard Junkie

Cardboard Junkie

Dave Campbell's in-depth blog on old baseball (and some football) cards lives up to it's motto: 'do cards, not drug… [read review or visit site]

Baseball Cards 1887-1914

Baseball Cards 1887-1914

Roll up your socks for this Library of Congress collection showcasing hundreds of players on colorful early basebal… [read review or visit site]

Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Hall of Fame

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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Vintage Base Ball: A Gentleman's Game
Baseball Essential, November 27th

The setting is an open field, often times played on historic grounds. There are no vendors taking $20 to park, $60 ticket prices, or multi-million dollar ballplayers on the field. It's what baseball once was, when it was played purely for the love of...Read more

Bird-chasing dog grounded; glitter sends message; Walker fails in Wisconsin
Arizona Daily Star, November 25th

In this undated photo provided by Brian Edwards, Piper, a bird-chasing border collie at Cherry Capital Airport in Traverse City, Mich., is off the job for a few months as he recovers from a fracture that occurred while he was chasing a snowy owl on the...Read more

Illinois Treasurer To Auction Off Vintage Baseball Cards, Gold Bar
CBS Local, November 25th

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Rare coins, a 10-ounce bar of gold and vintage baseball cards are among the thousands of items of unclaimed property that will soon be available for purchase from the Illinois treasurer's office. The five-day online auction...Read more

Nashville Gets A Museum To The Negro Leagues — Created By Second Graders
WPLN, November 25th

“They're learning, and we're learning, and it's obvious there's a real sense of pride here,” says Jeff Wells, a vintage baseball aficionado and himself something of a tour guide as the Tennessee State Parks director of interpretation. At the school...Read more

Vintage baseball's Horn, MacNichols pen letters of intent
Napa Valley Register, November 12th

Vintage High's Jared Horn, left, and Jake MacNichols pose for a photo after signing their national letters of intent to play college baseball Thursday afternoon at the Vintage High career center. 2015-11-12T21:07:00Z 2015-11-14T17:52:04Z Vintage...Read more

Louisville Slugger Museum to auction baseball memorabilia
WLKY Louisville, November 12th

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Local baseball fans have a chance to own a piece of the sport's history. Related. All westbound lanes and ramp open · Volunteers serve Thanksgiving meals... 17-year-old shooting victim dies, 16-... Local brothers deliver turkeys for...Read more

Baseball Great Brooks Robinson Sells Multi-Million Dollar Norman Rockwell For ...
Forbes, October 31st

So it seems like vintage Brooks, 78, that he decided to auction off his entire collection of baseball memorabilia, except his Hall of Fame induction ring, and to donate 100 percent of the proceeds to launch the Constance & Brooks Robinson Charitable ...Read more

Vintage baseball is a return to our roots
WCSH-TV, October 7th

The Dirigo Vintage Baseball Club played a game against an All-Star Club of Boston for the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame. The teams used 1862 rules. In those days, if a fielder caught a batted ball on the first bounce, the batter was out. Batter-runners...Read more