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
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Two men sentenced for Oakland home invasion murdersSanta Cruz Sentinel, February 27th
Santos said Joseph Tabron and Taco held seven people other than the victims at gunpoint while the group stole cash, cellphones, computers, TVs, and baseball memorabilia. Santos argued that Joseph Tabron fatally shot Garcia because Garcia arrived to ...Read more
Seftel: Top 10 restaurants for spring-training visitorsazcentral.com, February 27th
Don & Charlie's: Sure, the amazing collection of baseball memorabilia is a draw. But so are the easy-going atmosphere and great steaks, like the 12-ounce skirt steak with burnt onions (pictured), 24-ounce bone-in rib eye and trio of 3-ounce filet...Read more
Huzzah! Farmers Branch brings vintage baseball to lifeDallas Morning News, February 20th
Chris Shipman of the Farmers Branch Mustangs pitches to teammate Matthew Adamic at Farmers Branch Historical Park. The players do not use gloves, and they follow 1860s rules and customs...Read more
Century-old baseball cards bring $225000 at auction in BiddefordPress Herald, February 18th
A selection of vintage baseball cards, part of one batch of a large auction being held by Saco River Auction Co. in Biddeford. Courtesy Saco River Auction Company. BIDDEFORD — Some of baseball's biggest names helped boost the price of the second ...Read more
The Story Of A Vintage Baseball Mitt Worth 10KForbes, February 16th
“In the last ten years it has been estimated by an able statistician that the annual number of accidents has been 37,518, of which 3 percent have been fatal; 25,611 fingers and 11,016 legs were broken during the decade in question, while 1,900 eyes...Read more
Moon Township, PA Author Publishes His One Of A Kind Baseball Memorabilia ...PR Leap (press release), February 13th
(PRLEAP.COM) February 13, 2015 - "The Pittsburgh Gentleman: There'll Never Be Another One Like It," a new book by John Kirwan Jr., has been released by Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc. In 1946, John Kirwan Jr. began collecting autographed baseballs...Read more
Five Tips For Collecting Vintage Baseball Cards And Collectibles Like A ProForbes, February 11th
Most people who love buying and selling vintage baseball artifacts as much as John Cherpock does collect their memories. Born in 1952 and raised in Richmond Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York, he walked down Lefferts Boulevard to a school on the ...Read more
Bergen County prosecutor's baseball memorabilia auction nets little profitNorthJersey.com, February 1st
The county paid an additional $10,000 to Drew Max, a Las Vegas-based forensic handwriting analyst, whom Molinelli contracted with to evaluate a much larger cache of baseball memorabilia that was seized seven years ago from a former Paterson pharmacy ...Read more