c1850s flat barrel town ball bat. These were commonly made from wagon wheels. 31 3/4 long, 2" side on barrel.
circa 1880s - 1890s ring bat by Reach. The Reach logo can still be seen on this bat.
circa 1860s Lemon Peel Baseball. The earliest type of baseballs used. This ball shows early repairs to seams.
circa 1860s Lemon Peel Baseball. An unusual baseball slightly larger than a golf ball. This ball is more a hybrid between a belt ball and a lemon peel ball based on the unusual seams. It appears that this was made from scrap leather and thus does not have the well defined seams of either type of ball.
c1860s Two Piece Baseball. This ball is another smaller sized ball and appears to come from a boot. The opening, seen on both sides, appears to be comprised of button holes.
c1860s Belt or Gusset Baseball. An early small sized town ball with the belt/gusset seam design. Three pieces of leather are used and stitched into this pattern.
circa 1870s Lemon Peel Baseball. This ball was manufactured as evidenced by the interior seams and the size of the ball (8.5" circumference).
c1870s hybrid baseball. Another example of a baseball with no discernable seam pattern, a cross between the belt and lemon peel type of baseballs.
1871 Trophy Ball. A trophy baseball between a team called Mechanic against Lehigh University. Mechanic won 27-19.
1864 - American Boy's Book. This book had the first color illustration of a baseball game.
November 4th 1865 - Leslie's Illustrated woodcut. This illustration is considered the most important by collectors of early baseball woodcuts. Commonly known as the Jim Creighton memorial woodcut as Creighton is displayed with the black funeral shroud around his image. Other important baseball players of the time are in the image as well as a game between the Atlantic and Eckford clubs.
November 18, 1865 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Atlantics of Brooklyn vs. the Athletics of Philadelphia. Note the two boys fighting in the foreground.
November 3, 1866 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Atlantics of Brooklyn and the Athletics of Philadelphia.
October 26, 1867 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Union Base-Ball Club of Morrisania, New York.
July 3, 1869 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Red Stockings. One of the most famous Harper's woodcuts of the first professional team.
July 24, 1869 - Harper's Weekly woodcut. Red Stockings presented with champion bat in Cincinnati.
August 5, 1882 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Metropolitan Base-Ball Nine.
October 13, 1883 - Harper's Weekly Woodcut of the Boston Base-Ball Club..
July 28, 1888 - Harper's Weekly Cover Woodcut titled "A Ball or a Strike - Which?". One of the most desired woodcuts. Hand colored.
1889 Spaulding's Official Baseball Guide. A beautiful, completely intact copy.
c1880 Montpelier, Vt Cabinet Photos. I purchased the single player cabinet first. Two years later, the team photo was auctioned. I jumped on it since it was from the same photographer (Blanchard) in the same city. Some have argued that the player is in both images. You be the judge.
c1880s Team Cabinet Photo, Mass. This was sold as an early 1900s team photo. The bib jerseys, ring bats, and early catchers mask indicate otherwise.
c1870s Tintype. Excellent image of an early ball player with a 1/2 bib style jersey.
1895 - 1905 Platinum Print. One of my favorite early images of a player at bat. Check out the detail.