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]

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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia

Source: Google News

Vintage baseball game brings different look to familiar game in Manitou Springs
Colorado Springs Gazette, August 29th

The crack of a wooden bat, dust flying in the air as runners rounded the bases, and the cheer of the crowd as a player touched home plate all could be heard. Don't mind the suspenders and lack of mitts. "I just love it," said umpire Bruce "Old Hoss...Read more

Farmamerica event features equipment demonstrations, vintage baseball game, August 26th

Another attraction on that day is an 1860s style baseball game played by the Mankato Baltics, a vintage baseball team that wears plays by the rules of 1860s baseball while wearing uniforms and using equipment modeled after America's national pastime in ...Read more

Taking a few swings with vintage baseball players
cnweekly, August 25th

WETHERSFIELD, Conn. >> Players catch and field the ball bare-handed, there is no pitcher's mound and the umpire isn't called “blue.” He's known as the adjudicator and sits off to the side in a straight-backed wooden chair, wearing a straw hat and a big ...Read more

The most valuable baseball memorabilia and how to get the most out of yours
Bangor Daily News, August 23rd

Should you be so fortunate, what is the highest price you could possibly charge for your find — in other words, what are the highest prices ever paid for pieces of baseball memorabilia? Don't expect seven figures for your lucky break, but million...Read more

​Vintage baseball teams recreate America's pastime
CBS News, August 19th

OLD ORCHARD BEACH, Maine -- The pitching is underhand. A ball caught on a bounce is still an out. And even on a steaming hot day, the players' uniforms are mostly made of wool. It is vintage baseball -- the game as it was played in the 1860s when ...Read more

Highest-Priced Baseball Memorabilia
Huffington Post, August 19th

How many budding millionaires were thwarted when their parents threw out their old baseball cards? Nobody really knows -- but occasionally people unearth old baseball cards or other memorabilia from an attic or storage chest from bygone days. Should ...Read more

Vintage baseball returns to Reedsburg
WiscNews, August 19th

Vintage baseball returns to Reedsburg. Cheryl Schwarzenbart For the Times-Press; Aug 19, 2015. Matt Carter. Cheryl Schwarzenbart, for the Times-Press. “Ballist” Matt Carter readies for a pitch during the second annual Reedsburg Vintage Base Ball...Read more

Colebrookdale Railroad announces 'Vintage Baseball in the Park'
The Mercury, August 4th

The Colebrookdale Railroad is getting ready to host a vintage baseball game at Memorial Park — the community is invited to come out and ride through the Secret Valley Line with the players. This historical experience is being presented on Sunday, Aug...Read more