Baseball has its origins in America to the 18th Century. The earliest mention that has been found so far is a 1791 ordinance in Pittsfield, MA. As the game gathered fans, people sought ways to capitalize on the popularity. One of those ways was baseball cards.
The first dated baseball card, according to the Library of Congress is an 1865 team photo of the Brooklyn Atlantics. Unlike baseball cards of today, this one is an original picture mounted on a card. “None of the players (or the skipper) have been identified by individual name. The Brooklyn team created the card as a promotional stunt and because it was a frequent league champion,” David Brown wrote in an article about the card.
The 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics card goes up for auction this month and is expected to garner more than $100,000. It could bring in a lot more, a whole lot more. The 1909 Honus Wagner T206 card has earned nearly $3 million at auction.
Only two of the Brooklyn Atlantic cards are known to exist. The other one is in the Library of Congress’s collection. This one was found at a yard sale when a man purchased an old photo album. The card was inside the album.
Here’s an article link.