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.
Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)
The Baseball Card Blog
Baseball Cards 1887-1914
Baseball Hall of Fame
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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia
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In Search Of Raccoons, N.J. Man Finds Vintage Baseball Card Collection In ...CBS Local, May 22nd
In Search Of Raccoons, N.J. Man Finds Vintage Baseball Card Collection In Apartment Wall. Rafael Torres Broke Open The Sheetrock Only To See Babe Ruth Staring Back At Him May 22, 2015 11:23 PM. View Comments. Rafael Torres found this historic ...Read more
Vintage baseball: 10 rules you never knew existedFlorida Times-Union (blog), May 22nd
It's easy to see how Major League Baseball — not unlike all American professional sports — has changed through the years. Starting pitchers used to throw every fourth day (or even third in some cases), and they often threw complete games. Today...Read more
Dallas Cowboys get vintage baseball trading cardsdal.247sports.com, May 21st
The Dallas Cowboys charity home run derby this week was a huge success. The club helped raise $50,000 just by swinging the baseball bat. The event also produced some great moments. Safety J.J. Wilcox took home the crown as champion, head coach ...Read more
TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALL GAME! Vintage baseball returning to Pickering ...Bucks Local News, May 17th
NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Vintage baseball will be returning to Pickering Field on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25 for another round of old-fashioned summertime fun. After making its debut in 2008 as a novelty, the game has evolved into a Memorial Day ...Read more
Rare baseball collection auctioned off for charityWLS-TV, May 15th
The highlight of the auction is a collection of 26 baseballs each autographed by a Major League player who has hit 500 home runs. WLS. Friday, May 15, 2015. CHICAGO (WLS) --. A very rare baseball collection was auctioned off Friday night in memory of ...Read more
Weighing The Risks and Rewards of Investing In Today's Vintage Baseball Card ...Forbes, May 15th
TThis year marks the fifth anniversary of the publication of the Mint Condition: How Baseball Cards Became an American Obsession(Grove/Atlantic Inc, 272 pages, $15.95), the definitive history of baseball cards. Dave Jamieson, a contributor to Slate...Read more
Saginaw Old Golds fall in Log Mark vintage baseball tourney title gameMLive.com, May 12th
SAGINAW, MI — Saginaw held the first tournament in Old Golds vintage baseball history Saturday, but fell in the championship game to Bay City. The Old Golds opened with a 23-11 win over Flint in the tournament held on Ojibway Island. Devon Funchion...Read more
Flint vintage baseball team ready for season of hardball, historyMLive.com, May 9th
That's because the vintage baseball league really emphasizes the past part of America's pastime. The Flint ball club started as a partnership between the University of Michigan-Flint Department of History and the Whaley Historic House Museum. It aims...Read more