In 1869, when this lithograph was created and published, the starters for baseball teams were called "The Nine." In this image we see the first nine starters for America's first professional baseball team—the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The lithograph—which is now maintained at the Library of Congress—was published on July 31, 1869. Click on the image for a full-page view.


During the second half of the nineteenth century, newspapers like Harper’s Weekly (which was first published on the third of January, 1857) and Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper (which was created by Frank Leslie and always featured interesting drawings of people, places, battles and events - including murders) began to include wonderful pictures of baseball and its players.

Most of these old pictures survive, such as:

  • The Brooklyn Atlantics, in 1865. (Harper’s Weekly; 1865)

  • Baseball’s first professional team - the Cincinnati Red Stockings - in 1869. (Harper’s Weekly; 1869)

  • Spectators watched Baseball in England as the Philadelphia Athletics, and the Boston Red Stockings, introduced baseball to other countries during a mid-season world tour. (Harper’s Weekly; 5 September 1874)

  • Cap Anson was twenty-one years old when he played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1874. (Harper’s Weekly; 5 September 1874)

  • Canadians have played baseball for a very long time, as demonstrated by the Maple Leaf Base-ball Club of Guelph, Canada. (Harper’s Weekly; 12 September 1874)

  • The Boston Red Stockings, of 1874, eventually became - believe it or not - the Atlanta Braves. (Harper’s Weekly; 1874.)

Before long, companies realized the benefits of coupling their ads with popular items like baseball scorecards (such as this one from the Brooklyn Grays, in 1884). But when it came to advertising and baseball - in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries - nothing compared to the creation of baseball cards.

Let’s investigate how they began.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: Mar 11, 2016

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"EARLY BASEBALL PRINTS" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2005. Jun 01, 2020.
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