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”)

Old Cardboard

Old Cardboard

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

The Baseball Card Blog

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

A home run for baseball collectors, this site features special online exhibits, ranging from a baseball-uniforms da… [read review or visit site]



Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

1955 Topps Set Break #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Card Psa 6 Ex-mt 53131b2015 Topps Dynasty Roberto Clemente Pirates Hof Cut Auto Bat 1/1 Deceased 19721963 Topps #537 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds Rc Rookie Psa 7 Nm " Super Hot Card " 1965 Topps Setbreak Mickey Mantle #350 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1971 Topps #156 Terry Bradshaw Rookie Psa 9 Mint (hof)2008-09 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Clr Patch Auto Kobe 04/25 Bgs8.5 W Inscription1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays New York Giants Hof Psa 2 Good " Awesome Centering "2003-04 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Clr Patch Auto Kobe Bryant 50/75 Bgs9 102003-04 Exquisite Gold Lebron James Cavaliers Rc Rookie 10/25 Bgs 8.5 W/ 9. 52006 Bowman Chrome Clayton Kershaw Blue Refractor Rc Auto #/150 Bgs 9.5 Auto 10 1955 Topps #123 Sandy Koufax Dodgers Rc Rookie Hof Psa 7 " Super Hot Card " 1948 Leaf #4 Stan Musial Hof Cardinals Rc Rookie Psa 6.5 Ex-mt+ Undergraded2003 Ultimate Collection Lebron James Rookie Rc Auto /250 Psa 10 Gem Mint (pwcc)2008 Exquisite Collection Kidd Chris Paul Logoman Patch 1/1 Auto Bgs 9.5 (pwcc)2013 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractors Carlos Correa Rookie Auto /50 Bgs 9.5 (pwcc)2003-04 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Clr Patch Auto Patrick Ewing 36/75 Bgs9 10 2009 Topps Chrome Refractor Stephen Curry Rookie Rc /500 #101 Psa 10 Gem (pwcc)1965 Topps Setbreak Steve Carlton Rookie Rc #477 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1965 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " Pack Fresh " 2003-04 Exquisite Limited Logos 4 Clr Patch Auto Kevin Garnett 05/75 Bgs7.5 1/1?1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Rookie Psa 8 Nm-mt New York Mets2009 Exquisite Collection Stephen Curry Rookie Rc Auto /225 Bgs 9.5 Gem (pwcc)1968 Topps #280 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 9 " Super High End " 1965 Topps Setbreak Joe Morgan Rookie Rc #16 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)Psa 9 Kevin Durant 2007-08 Upper Deck Exquisite Thunders Patch Auto Rc /99 Pop 42003-04 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Clr Patch Auto Dennis Rodman 34/75 Bgs8.5 91965 Topps Setbreak Pete Rose #207 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1959 Topps #10 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " High End " 2008-09 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Clr Patch Auto Lebron James 02/23 Bgs8.5 101986 Fleer #76 Johnny Moore San Antonio Spurs Psa 10 " Super Low Pop " 1963 Topps #537 Pete Rose Cincinnati Reds Rc Rookie Psa 7 Nm " Super Hot Card " 1976 Topps #148 Walter Payton Bears Rc Rookie Hof Psa 9 " Looks Undergraded " 1952 Topps Willie Mays Psa 5 1955 Topps #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Pirates Psa 51955 Topps #164 Bob Roberto Clemente Rc Rookie Hof Psa 5 " Super Hot Card " 1979 O-pee-chee Opc #18 Wayne Gretzky Rc Rookie Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " High End "Stephen Curry 2009-10 Crown Royale Rc Rookie Auto Autograph Sp #d/399 Bgs 9.5/101951 Bowman #305 Willie Mays Rc Psa 6 *centered* 1960 Ken Boyer St. Louis Cardinals Original Game Worn Flannel Baseball Jersey2009 Topps Chrome Refractor Stephen Curry Rookie Rc /500 #101 Bgs 9.5 (pwcc)1959 Topps #478 Bob Roberto Clemente Pirates Hof Psa 9 Mint " Dead Centered "1965 Topps Setbreak Willie Mays #250 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)Russell Westbrook 2008/09 Ud Exquisite Rc Auto 2 Color Patch #/225 Bgs 9 Mint 101965 Topps Setbreak Roberto Clemente #160 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)Yoan Moncada Bgs 9.5 2016 Bowman Chrome Orange Ref Sp Rc Auto /25 Gem Red Sox2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Refractor Rc Auto /500 Bgs 9.5 W/ 102013 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractors Carlos Correa Rookie Auto /150 Bgs 9.5 (pwcc)1965 Topps Setbreak Sandy Koufax #300 Psa 9 Mint (pwcc)1952 Topps #261 Willie Mays Giants Psa 4 *6032051934 Babe Ruth Quaker Oats 8x10 With Bold Autograph Signed Jsa Bgs Slabbed1966 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 " Super Undergraded " 1984 Topps #63 John Elway Denver Broncos Rc Rookie Hof Psa 10 " Dead Centered " 1958 Topps #47 Roger Maris Cleveland Indians Rc Rookie Psa 8 Nm-mt " Pack Fresh"1978 O-pee-chee Opc #154 Eddie Murray Rc Rookie Hof Psa 10 " Great Investment " 1966 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt 1989 Fleer Glossy Ken Griffey Jr. Rookie Rc #548 Psa 10 Gem Mint (pwcc)1964 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " Razor Sharp " 1964 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " Razor Sharp " 2003-04 Finest Gold Refractor Lebron James Rc /25 Bgs 8.5 " Looks Undergraded " 1955 Topps Roberto Clemente Rookie Rc #164 High # Sgc 84 Nm 7 - Near Mint