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”)
The Baseball Card Blog
Baseball Cards 1887-1914
Baseball Hall of Fame
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Recent News: Baseball Memorabilia
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Vintage Baseball Sunday at Sam Davis Home on SundayWgnsradio, July 24th
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
Bay City Independents go really, really old-school with vintage baseball game ...Bay City Times, July 23rd
Bay City Independents go really, really old-school with vintage baseball game, and other Sports Notes. Bay City Independents vintage baseball team plays in Michigan State Championship tournament. The Bay City Independents give themselves a 'huzzah' ...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
Pastime Time Machine: Vintage Baseball Game Comes to Smith Field ParkPatch.com, July 22nd
To prove it, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township Recreation Department will hold its annual Vintage Baseball Game on Saturday, Aug. 9 at Smith Field Park on Rt. 46. The game is put on by the Morristown Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and ...Read more
Vintage baseball played in Woodstock on July 19Hartford Courant, July 21st
Woodstock resident Sean Connor got a group of friends together for a friendly baseball game on July 19. But this was no ordinary game. Wearing black pants, striped socks, white shirts and colorful cloth shields emblazoned with their team's first...Read more
Vintage Baseball In TopekaWIBW, July 20th
Gary Lee, Event Coordinator for Cowtown Vintage Baseball Club said, "Today's game is between a combination of the Wichita Red Stockings and the Wichita Bulldozers from Old Cowtown Museum. And we're playing the Topeka Westerns. It's kind of a rivalry ...Read more
Vintage baseball game is planned as part of Padanaram 350 celebrationSouthCoastToday.com, July 19th
SUBMITTED PHOTO A vintage baseball game featuring the Bristol Blues is planned at Concordia Field, behind the Concordia Boatyard, 300 Gulf Road, beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 27 as part of the Padanaram Days of Yore 350th anniversary ...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