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.
Interviews & Articles
Like most people my age, when I was growing up, baseball memorabilia meant baseball cards. The great thing about baseball cards at… [more]
I played baseball, basketball, and ran track from the time I was eight years old all the way through high school. Like the other k… [more]
I started collecting in 1986. If you’re in Boston and you’re a baseball fan, the Red Sox may take over your life. They take over y… [more]
The Baseball Hall of Fame officially opened in 1939, so we’re coming up on our 70th anniversary. If you include baseball cards, we… [more]
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DEXTER: Civil War Days vintage baseball game a hitHeritage Newspapers, June 17th
Front Row (L-R): Megan Pike, Catie Van Hoek, “Honest Jon” Van Hoek, “Crawdad” Koval, “Kid” Aldrich, “Swede” Sprague, “Hands” King, “Prospector” Oliver, “Hawgcooker” Aldrich, “Sprocket” Olexa, “Deke” Dice, “Grizzly” Roy-Borland. Back Row (L-R): ...Read more
Harrison sesquicentennial to include old-fashioned fair, vintage baseballExponent-telegram, June 16th
Harrison sesquicentennial to include old-fashioned fair, vintage baseball. Story · Comments. Print: Create a hardcopy of this page; Font Size: Default font size: Larger font size. Previous Next. Batter up! This vintage baseball game shows the Watson...Read more
Vintage baseball game is July 6!Hingham Journal, June 16th
Step back into the 1860s and see the boys of summer play nine frames of Base, that new game of ball that is taking America by storm. The Hingham Derbys and their crosstown arch-rivals, the Mighty Hingham Coopers, begin play at 2 p.m., on Saturday, July...Read more
Vintage baseball at Lincoln LogJournal Gazette and Times-Courier, June 14th
LERNA (JG-TC) — A demonstration of vintage baseball is scheduled for 1 p.m. today at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Two traveling demonstration teams, the Rock Springs Ground Squirrels and the Vermillion Voles, will compete in the event...Read more
Vintage baseball clubs to host game with '19th Century rules' in HobokenThe Jersey Journal - NJ.com, June 14th
Vintage baseball clubs to host game with '19th Century rules' in Hoboken. Print · John Ambrosio/The Jersey Journal By John Ambrosio/The Jersey Journal The Jersey Journal on June 14, 2013 at 12:42 PM. View/Post Comments. Hoboken Nine The Hoboken ...Read more
Vintage baseball to be shown Saturday at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic SiteJournal Gazette and Times-Courier, June 14th
LERNA (JG-TC) — A demonstration of vintage baseball is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Site. Two traveling demonstration teams, the Rock Springs Ground Squirrels and the Vermillion Voles, will compete in the event ...Read more
Walker Tavern Wheels vintage baseball team celebrates vintage baseball, game ...The Jackson Citizen Patriot - MLive.com, June 9th
BROOKLYN, MI -- About 25 times a season, members of the Walker Tavern Wheels vintage baseball team lace up their cleats, slip on their pants and button up their old-fashioned jerseys as they prepare to play the game they love. Playing under 1860s rules...Read more
In 100th year, ball field hosts vintage baseballMarion Star, June 8th
Two Ohio vintage baseball teams helped to preserve that memory Saturday with a game played using rules from nearly 150 years ago. “It's relatively faithful to the way baseball was played in the 1860s,” said team manager Craig Lammers. The were several ...Read more