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”)
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Baseball Cards 1887-1914
Baseball Hall of Fame
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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia
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Hoboken vintage baseball team prepares for upcoming gamesThe Star-Ledger, July 31st
History buffs and sports fanatics alike can appreciate a fast-paced and historically accurate baseball game -- and the Hoboken Nine deliver. The city's vintage baseball club, which started in 2012, grew from a once-a-year re-enactment game, to a travel...Read more
Torrington: Vintage baseball game, Tri-State Home Run Derby is SaturdayTorrington Register Citizen, July 30th
Vintage Baseball fans will experience the sights and sounds of 1860s baseball. Gloves and protective equipment will not be used. The umpire may call strikes when a batter (striker) does not swing at good pitches and fly balls can be caught for outs on...Read more
READER SUBMITTED: Vintage Baseball In TorringtonHartford Courant, July 30th
Vintage Baseball and the Tri State Home Run Derby At Fuessenich Park in Torrington will be held on Sunday Aug. 3, at 5 p.m. An admission of $5 will cover both events. Children under ten receive free admission. A rain date of Aug.10 has been set...Read more
Vintage baseball to hit ReedsburgReedsburg Times Press, July 29th
Reedsburg will take a time machine back a few years on Thursday to enjoy baseball the way it originally was. The Menomonie Blue Caps vintage baseball team will host a vintage baseball festival in Reedsburg this weekend, featuring 1860s-era rules and ...Read more
Final Vintage Baseball Game of Season This Sunday!Wgnsradio, July 26th
The final game at the Sam Davis Home for the Tennessee Association of Vintage Base Ball is a double header beginning at noon on Sunday, July 27 at the Sam Davis Home in Smyrna. The first game is between the Nashville Maroons and the Phoenix of ...Read more
Saginaw Old Golds bring Vintage Baseball to Ojibway Island after loss at ...The Ann Arbor News, July 25th
SAGINAW, MI — The Saginaw Old Golds' reign as Gettysburg champions came to an end last week after three consecutive Vintage Baseball titles in the Pennsylvania tournament. The Old Golds, however, return to Saginaw for a doubleheader Saturday at ...Read more
Reedsburg to host vintage baseball festivalJuneau County Star-Times, July 22nd
"There are a lot of similarities with vintage baseball and modern baseball, yet there are a lot of differences," said Carter in a Dunn County Historical Society press release issued to the Times-Press. "This is one of the reasons that vintage baseball...Read more
Uniquely Detroit: Vintage Base Ball at 'The Corner'WDIV Detroit, July 15th
THE GAME IS COMMENCING AT QUARTER AFTER 2:00. STRIKE WELL, SIR. VINTAGE BASEBALL THERE ARE NO MITS YOU CATCH WITH EVERYTHING YOUR HAND. NICELY STRUCK. SKY BALL. SKY BALL. IT'S BASEBALL IN ITS PUREST FORM...Read more