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1865 baseball card found, to be auctioned

Jan 10, 2013, 7:04 AM EDT

Rare Baseball Card

Just woke up from a crazy dream. I was in Cooperstown this summer and the only person giving a Hall of Fame acceptance speech was a baseball writer. I know, that seems insane because the Hall of Fame is about the players, not the writers, right? Anyway, as the guy finished men with chisels added the word “Writing” in between “National Baseball” and “Hall of Fame” on the front of the building.

Glad I woke up before they finished!


Six-figure bids are expected when an auction house sells a rare 148-year-old baseball card that was discovered at a yard sale in rural Maine, the auction house manager said Wednesday … It’s not the same as a modern baseball card, which became commonplace beginning in the 1880s. Instead, it’s an original photograph from 1865 of the Brooklyn Atlantics amateur baseball club mounted on a card. The card shows nine players gathered around their manager.

Only two of these exist in the world, the other being at the Library of Congress.  The coolest part: they were apparently made to give to fans of the opposing team as a means of taunting them.

And now, 150 years later, we get bent out of shape when a relief pitcher does a little dance.

  1. darthicarus - Jan 10, 2013 at 7:42 AM

    The only baseball cards I ever find at yard sales are Kevin Maas rookie cards.

    • dcfan4life - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:27 AM

      And i thought i hit it big when i paid $1 for a 1948 Topps card worth $50 at a yard sale. Wonder what the owner paid for this one.

  2. sophiethegreatdane - Jan 10, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    That’s cool. It’s amazing to me that baseball was being played that long ago. The Civil War didn’t end until 1865!

    • dcfan4life - Jan 10, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Some union troops took a bat a ball with them and would play baseball in their down time. There are many examples of this. Always fascinating though isnt it.

      • fellspointbird - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        The Civil War was credited with spreading baseball for this very reason. It is within the realm of possibility that had it never been played by the Union soldiers across the continent during the 1860’s, it may have stayed in the northeast a la lacrosse, never reaching the zenith that it did.

        On a personal note, I sometimes think about this while strolling Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. A massive Civil War fortress still overlooking the city, Camden Yards in the distance… the first blood of the civil war being spilled between the two railroad stations downtown… crazy.

  3. flosox - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I love these old pictures…kinda wish you’d see a current player go real oldschool complete with handlebar stache and full polyester uni that could fit Shaq.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 10, 2013 at 9:13 AM

      I wish the Tigers would wear a real retro jersey sometime — collars up a la Cobb.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 11, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Not hiding…necessarily. Just playing catch up from the Holidays.
        So I see you survived as well. Was Santa good to you this year? Or did you receive coal?

    • nothanksimdriving123 - Jan 10, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Polyester? That is nowhere near being old school. The guys in the pic never saw polyester clothing. It wasn’t invented until 1941. Wool uniforms would be old school. And oh, so comfy when it’s 105F.

  4. Stiller43 - Jan 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Its cool, but its not worth more than 5 bucks to me.

    Cant see anyone bidding that high. Well, no, there are some real rich idiots out there.

    • shorttracknews - Jan 10, 2013 at 1:34 PM

      I agree, there are some idiots out there…

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      There are only two of these in the world.
      Two. In. The. World.
      Yet…to you they aren’t worth more than $5?
      I don’t care if it was a rare shoelace.
      If there were only two of these shoelaces in the world you bet I would be bidding on them if I had the means.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:34 PM

        Are you hiding, Woodpecker?

      • historiophiliac - Jan 11, 2013 at 1:18 PM

        I got a new Tigers hoodie. I consider that a decent Christmas. BTW, it’s well past the new year. Catch up. lol

  5. gloccamorra - Jan 10, 2013 at 3:50 PM

    There’s a big difference between a relief pitcher doing a dance and passing out pictures to opposing fans. The former is showing up the opposing TEAM, a no-no in baseball’s arcane unwritten rules, and the latter, taunting the opposing team’s fans is just innocent fun. You should see what fan taunting goes on between opposing colleges in Texas.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 4:29 PM

      gloccamorra: For some reason your post made me think of Kevin Garnett telling Carmelo Anthony his wife smelled like honey nut cherrios. Funny stuff.
      Apparantly strong enough off a crack to make Carmelo wait for Garnett in the tunnel after the game AND run after him on the team bus in the parking lot.

      “Your Wife smells like honey nut cherrios.” Hahaha!

      • stlouis1baseball - Jan 10, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        Edit Function:
        Garnett said Carmelo’s Wife “tastes like honey nut cherrios.” LOL! Classic Burn.

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