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 #164 Roberto Clemente Rookie Rc Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt " Super Hot Card "Vintage 1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle High# Rc Scd 3 Psa Crossover? Undergraded!1968 Topps Baseball Uncut Proof Sheet Nolan Ryan Rookie Card Hank Aaron1976 Topps #240 Pete Rose Reds " Pristine " Psa 10 Gem Mint Pop 1 Only2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Mike Trout Rc Blue Refractor #d/150 Bgs 9.5 Auto 101968 Topps Baseball Card Final Color Negative. Johnny Bench Rookie Reds1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Psa Authentic Well Centered Rookie1963 Topps #537 Pete Rose Rookie Rc Cincinnati Reds Psa 8 Nm-mt " Pack Fresh "2003-04 Topps Finest Gold Refractor Lebron James Rookie Rc /25Bryce Harper 1/1 $6000 Auto Game Worn Jumbo Jersey Logo Patch Prime Topps Museum2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Mike Trout Rc Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint W/ 10 Auto 2012 Panini Contenders Andrew Luck Rc Rookie Ticket Auto Bgs 9.5 Gem Mint W/ 101952 Topps Baseball Card #311 Mickey Mantle Psa - 4 Vg-ex1930 Babe Ruth Yankees Hanna Batrite Winged Bat Logo Baseball Bat Game Used??2014 Bowman Chrome Prospect Kris Bryant Rc Auto Bgs 10 Pristine " Black Label "2015 Topps Museum Collection Mike Trout Auto Wood Frame Parallel 1/1Andrew Luck 2012 Contenders Foil Rookie Ticket Auto Rc #201 50/99 Psa 10 Gem2013 Bowman Chrome Carlos Correa Auto Bgs Pristine 10 Subs 10, 10, 10, 9.52012-13 Panini Flawless Greats Ruby Kobe Bryant Patch 09/15 Bgs 9.5 W/ 10 Auto 1954 Topps #128 Henry Hank Aaron Rc Rookie Hof Milwaukee Braves Psa 5 Ex1981 Topps #216 Joe Montana 49ers Rc Rookie Hof Psa 9 MintVintage Pittsburgh Pirates Roberto Clemente Baseball Bobble Head Made In Japan 1969 Topps #533 Nolan Ryan New York Mets Hof Psa 9 Mint " Dead Centered "1955 Topps Roberto Clemente Rc Rookie #164 Psa 5 Centered Well Colored Pirates1976 Topps #330 Nolan Ryan California Angels Hof Psa 10 Gem Mint " Flawless "Lebron James 2005-06 Exquisite Limited Logos 3 Color Patch Auto Bgs 9.5 #11/50Bgs 9.5/10 Carlos Correa 2013 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Auto Rc #/150Kobe Bryant 97-98 Jambalaya Bgs 9.52009 Bowman Draft 2010 Aflac Auto Bryce Harper Rookie Rc /230 Bgs 9.5 101963 Topps #537 1963 Rookie Stars W/ Pete Rose Rc Cincinnati Reds Psa 8 Nm-mt1956 Topps Set Break #135 - Mickey Mantle Psa 6 Ex-mint K91632001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols Autograph Auto Rc Bgs 9 Mint Cardinals Angels2010 Bowman Chrome Usa Buyback Auto Bryce Harper Rookie Rc /100 Bgs 9.5 101933 Goudey Gum Lou Gehrig #55 Baseball Card Psa Graded 2 Gd-cond "beautiful"1986 Fleer Charles Barkley #7 Psa 10 Rookie 76ers Suns Rockets Hof Sweet Card1964 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees Hof Psa 8 Nm-mt 1939 Play Ball # 26 Joe Dimaggio Yankees **hi-end Psa 8R319 1933 Goudey Baseball-#144 Babe Ruth, New York Yankees Hof, Sgc 30/2 Nicer1933 Goudey # 160 Lou Gehrig Psa 4 1988 Fleer #20 Scottie Pippen Bulls Rc Rookie Hof Psa 10 Gem Mint " Pristine "1963 Topps #537 Pete Rose Rookie Rc Cincinnati Reds Psa 9 Mint " Pack Fresh "Late 1930's Babe Ruth Signed Baseball Jsa Full Loa 16 Signatures1952 Topps Baseball Card #311 Mickey Mantle Psa - 4 Vg-ex Looks Fantastic 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Prospects Refractor Mike Trout Autograph Bgs 9.52012 Topps Chrome Pink Refractor Andrew Luck Rc Rookie Auto 15/75 Bgs 9.5 W/ 102010 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Matt Harvey Rc Auto 05/50 Bgs 10 Pristine1967 Topps #400 Bob Roberto Clemente Pirates Hof Psa 9 Mint CenteredMickey Mantle Autographed Baseball Inscribed "mvp '56 '57 '62"1952 Bowman #101 Mickey Mantle Psa 4 Vg-ex2001 Bowman Chrome Albert Pujols Rookie Auto Bgs 8.51954 Topps #128 Hank Aaron Hof Milwaukee Braves Rc Rookie Bvg 4.5 Beautiful1954 Johnston Cookies Braves #5 Henry Aaron Rc Rookie Hof Psa 8 " Razor Sharp "1953 Topps Baseball Near Complete (87%) Card Set (hank Aaron / Willie Mays)1970 Topps #500 Hank Aaron Braves Hof " Razor Sharp " Psa 9 Mint CenteredHenry Aaron 1954 Topps Baseball Card #128 Psa Vg-ex 41909 E90-1 Aerican Caramel Ty Cobb Psa 3 Vg Spectacular2013 Bowman Chrome Black Refractor Kris Bryant Auto Bgs 10 #26/35 3 Day Auction1969 Topps #95 Johnny Bench Cincinnati Reds Hof Psa 9 Mint " Razor Sharp "2007-08 The Cup Autograph Nhl Shields Duals Mario Lemieux Mark Messier 1/1 Bgs1959 Topps Baseball Near Complete (99%) Card Set (bob Gibson Rc, Mickey Mantle)

Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia

Source: Google News

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

In Gettysburg, vintage baseball teams recreate a 19th-century league of their own
Washington Post, August 3rd

Wearing uniforms that hark back to a bygone era, men spread out on a lush green field. In the distance, a red barn is a dot among slightly rolling hills. To the right, a cornfield can be seen just beyond the open pasture. The game being played seems...Read more

Vintage baseball, Beatles tribute band among offerings
The Daily News Journal, July 29th

Vintage baseball. SMYRNA – Historic Sam Davis Home, 1399 Sam Davis Road, will be open from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday for the third of four doubleheaders of vintage baseball this summer. The home team Stewart's Creek Scouts will take on the Knoxville ...Read more

Saginaw Old Golds score 27 runs in vintage baseball win, July 27th

The Saginaw Old Golds cranked out 49 hits and 27 runs Saturday in a vintage baseball slugfest that netted a 27-20 win over the Wyandotte Stars. Keith Manning, Jerry Endert and Dennis Konuszewski had six hits each for the Old Golds. In his last two...Read more

Sore hands and smiles at Griswold vintage baseball games
Norwich Bulletin, July 26th

GRISWOLD — It's a safe bet the members of the vintage baseball teams that took the field Sunday had the most-callused hands of anyone at the Griswold athletic field complex. Three teams playing by 1861 rules — no gloves and one umpire, or "referee" ...Read more

Photos: Somonauk Blue Stockings Vintage Baseball
DeKalb Daily Chronicle, July 21st

Danielle Guerra - Somonauk Blue Stockings third baseman Brad "Brooklyn" Rodgers grabs a one-hopper during the third inning against the Waterman 9 during the Waterman Lions Summerfest and Antique Tractor Show on ...Read more

The old ballgame: Ghost town hosts vintage baseball tournament
Casper Star-Tribune Online, July 17th

Lander's Ray Malek takes practice pitches between innings during a vintage baseball game between Lander and Riverton on July 12 during Gold Rush Days in South Pass City. 2015-07-17T17:00:00Z 2015-07-20T09:23:02Z The old ballgame: Ghost town ...Read more

Vintage baseball takes Barrington back in time
Chicago Daily Herald, July 5th

The front lawn of Barrington High School served as the stage for a vintage baseball contest in honor of the village's 150th birthday. The game pitted the Chicago Salmon against the Creston Regulators, a team based in a town 30 miles south of Rockford...Read more