Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Could This Be The Worlds First Baseball Card?

One of the things always on the mind of any Baseball collector is the first Baseball card. What was the first card? Of course, many collectors will argue about what constitutes a Baseball card. Must they be insert in tobacco or gum packs? How about CDV's (which are basically mounted photographs)? Does an individual player need to be prominently displayed, or is a general Baseball scene acceptable? Who knows, and frankly I don't care. What I do like is the history an old Baseball relic will show and how it can help us appreciate and understand the game we love.

The above copper plate engraving, originally sold in a Leland's 2002 auction, may prove to be one of the earliest, if not, first Baseball card ever created. Sure there are depictions of the game in children's books dating to as far back as 1744, but this is the first known image of the game not in a book. What's even more fascinating is that this card, which measures 5" by 3 1/4",
is not an invitation... but a ticket, costing a dollar and, given its enamel-coated card stock and its original, commissioned imagery, intended to be saved as a memento,
as Baseball historian John Thorn points out. Thorn dates the above card at 1844. Check out the rest of his blog entry to find out more about this incredible item.

Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:
Story Link: Thorn Pricks:
Pic Link: Lelands:

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