09 January 2009

Why you should clean your attic

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...

She did what she does with most items: Took a picture, wrote a description and put it up for auction. She put a $10 price tag on it, deciding against $15 because it would have cost her an extra 20 cents....

Before there were any bids, she cancelled the auction and had the card professionally evaluated.

The card is actually 139 years old. It, and a handful of others like it, are considered the first baseball cards.

Before the Cincinnati Red Stockings, there were no professional baseball teams. Formed in 1868, the team set the foundation for what we know today as Major League Baseball.

"They brought in some of the best baseball players from around the country. They went around and challenged all comers. They barnstormed around the country and were undefeated."

The Red Stockings won games by as many as 30, 40 and 50 runs, Wiles says.

"They were kind of an all-star team before that concept really existed," he says. "In 1871, what the Red Stockings started would evolve into the first baseball league and the first sports league."

In 1869, the team's picture ended up on the front of a card advertising Peck & Snyder, a company that sold baseball equipment. Unlike modern baseball cards, the Peck & Snyder card was larger and focused on the whole team, not individual players...

Sports card collectors call the find "extremely rare" and estimate the card could fetch five, or perhaps, six figures at auction...

"It really provides a time capsule for the game," says Orlando of PSA. "You look at the picture and the guys are wearing boots. They don't use gloves at that point. The classic uniforms. It was a completely different game at that time."

(via Neatorama)

1 comment:

  1. oh man I live in Cincinnati, baseball is big here real big, we love the reds


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