Skip to main content

Exhibition Baseball Americana

Washington Base Ball Club. Uncut sheet, baseball cards. New York: Goodwin & Co. 1887. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (021.00.00)

1887 Baseball Cards

Rigid poses, balls suspended by string, paper bases, and floral carpeting in a photography studio make for a charmingly awkward set of player pictures from 1887, the first year that tobacco companies tucked baseball cards into their product packaging. But for baseball fans, these instantly popular collectibles matched player names in the newspaper to real faces and personalities. Examples of early uncut cards are extremely rare; this sheet accompanied an application for U.S. copyright registration.

 Back to top