Friday, February 13, 2009

Junk Collector Finds 1869 Baseball Card

After you read this story from the Fresno Bee, your first instinct should be to go to Wikipedia and read about the history of baseball cards. I had no idea that baseball cards were as old as organized professional baseball itself. I always assumed that they originated in the early twentieth century. Fascinating.

Here's the gist:

Bernice Gallego sat down one day this summer, as she does pretty much every day, and began listing items on eBay.

She dug into a box and pulled out a baseball card. She stopped for a moment and admired the picture. "Red Stocking B.B. Club of Cincinnati," the card read, under a sepia tone photo of 10 men with their socks pulled up to their knees. The card itself was dirty and wrinkled in a few places.

It turns out that the card was issued by Peck & Snyder, a company that made baseball equipment, in 1869, one year after the Red Stockings came into being. (The Red Stockings, now the Reds, are baseball's oldest professional club.)

Hat Tip: Deadspin


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