The very first baseball card has been found and like all things lost and then found it was immediately auctioned off to the highest bidder. In this case the item brought in $92,000, which when you factor in the 18% buyers fee comes to a mere $78,000 bid. Well, you say, a rare Honus Wagner card from the t206 line of baseball cards brought more than 2 million dollars last time one was up for auction. That is so, but that card is inherently different from this one, which goes to prove the old adage, just because it is old doesn’t mean it is worth a lot of money, a lot of money being perception based here.
However, the card may be just two of a kind known. The card is listed as the first dated baseball card by the Library of Congress in the book Baseball Americana. They were only aware of two surviving photos of the card, including the one that just went up at auction. the other is in their collection. Unlike a traditional card, which really started in the 1880’s, this card is a photograph glued to a card stock with a picture of a nine players and a manager for the Brooklyn Atlantics, who dominated their league in the early 1860’s. The card is from the height of their dominance in 1865. When you think that this was a mere 20 years after the real first formalization of baseball it is amazing.
This card, the first baseball card ever, spawned an entire line of collectibles after it down through time and even if it is never worth as much as a Honus Wagner for collectibility, it will be far more important to the history of sports collectibles in the long run.