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

Cameron Field Celebrates 100 Years With Vintage Baseball
The Village Green, September 20th

The umpire Sam “It ain't nothin' till I say so” Bernstein, from South Orange. Folks in South Orange were living in the past today — if only for a few magic hours — when the South Orange Villagers took on the Flemington Neshock for a game of baseball...Read more

Vintage baseball game at Borderland State Park
Wicked Local Sharon, September 20th

There will be a vintage baseball game at Borderland State Park on Saturday, Sept. 27, on the front lawn of the Ames Mansion. Join in the presentation of an old-fashion baseball game. First game begins at 11 a.m. and the second begins at approximately ...Read more

Vintage baseball program proves a hit with modern players
spiritofjefferson (blog), September 17th

In this Sept. 6 photo, Vintage baseball players with the Capitol Stars Club of Maryland and Virginia cheer their opponents during the 2014 Base-Ball Exhibition & Fair at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The clubs play baseball according to rules of the...Read more

Home run for baseball collector?
KSHB, September 16th

Nevada man believes he's scored a rare Honus Wagner baseball card worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for less than $200 on eBay. KSHB. Show Caption Hide Caption. Previous Next. (KRNV) A man from Sparks, Nevada has hit the jackpot after a ...Read more

No gloves, flat caps and bow ties on the diamond: Vintage baseball teams play ...
Daily Mail, September 15th

It was a time from the very dawn of baseball, before pitching gloves, catcher's masks - or even a baseball cap. In 1864, barely two decades after the sport is held to have been invented in New York, players would be seen on the field of a weekend...Read more

Vintage Baseball
ABC News, September 13th

Vintage baseball player Dan Jurgens, of the Resolute Base Ball Club of Elizabeth N.J., puts on his cleats ahead of the 2014 Base-Ball Exhibition & Fair at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia, Sept. 6, 2014. +. ?. Matt Rourke/AP Photo ...Read more

Vintage baseball brought to Beloit
Beloit Daily News, September 8th

Angela "Hoover" Biesiada (left) and Ellie "Boss Lady" Carlson of the Chicago Salmon stand near eachother for opening introductions during a vintage baseball game at the Beloit Historical Society on Saturday. The event was held in conjunction with a...Read more

Vintage baseball tournament in Beloit Sept. 6
The Rock River Times, September 3rd

BELOIT, Wisconsin — Three northern Illinois vintage ball teams will participate in a special tournament that commemorates a similar event that took place in Beloit, Wisconsin, in September of 1867. The Chicago Salmon, Creston Regulators and the Oregon ...Read more