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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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

Former Royals athletic trainer to be reunited with World Series ring and other ..., October 8th

JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. -- Sheriff detectives have recovered some priceless baseball memorabilia for a former Royals athletic trainer. The Jackson County Sheriff says detectives have recovered a 1985 World Series ring and baseball signed by the 1980 ...Read more

Brooks Robinson to auction off baseball memorabilia
WBAL Baltimore, October 8th


Vintage baseball is a return to our roots
WCSH-TV, October 7th

The Dirigo Vintage Baseball Club played a game against an All-Star Club of Boston for the Midcoast Sports Hall of Fame. The teams used 1862 rules. In those days, if a fielder caught a batted ball on the first bounce, the batter was out. Batter-runners...Read more

Burlington Vintage Baseball champion will be crowned tonight, October 1st

The championship series of Burlington Vintage Baseball has come down to a fifth and final game tonight at Nelson Park. Thanks to a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning by Bryan Pereira, the Cardinals evened the series at 2-2 with...Read more

Rare Baseball Collection Stolen in Abilene
Big Country Homepage, September 30th

(ABILENE, TX) - An Abilene man's pricey baseball collection was stolen from his home alongside other valuables Monday morning. Police reports say a suspect entered a home through a window on the 1500 block of Oldham Lane between 8:30 a.m. and ...Read more

Greenfield Village nips Bay City Independents en route to vintage baseball ..., September 28th

The annual tournament featured four vintage baseball clubs, which dress, act and play in the style of the 1860s. Players don wool uniforms, hoist heavy wooden bats and play the game with no gloves and no fences. Action took place Saturday, Sept. 26 at...Read more

Burlington Vintage Baseball championship series set, September 21st

The Braves wrapped up their Burlington Vintage Baseball semifinals series on Sunday, advancing to the league championship with an 11-2 win over the the Hobos. It gave the Braves a 3-1 win in the best-of-five semifinal series and sets up a league final ...Read more

Blast from past: Vintage baseball conjures memories of bygone era
Republican Journal, September 15th

The scene was surreal, as fans in folding chairs and people sitting in their cars lined the field to watch 1860s Vintage Baseball, on a piece of land with mowed base paths and players who sported mostly attire from that era. The event was part of the...Read more