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  #1  
Old 06-15-2013, 12:33 AM
bbpostcards bbpostcards is offline
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Default 1876 Boston Base Ball trade card; earliest game image on a card?

Three questions for the 19th century experts about this trade card:

(1) With baseball cards still being a few years off, is this the first baseball-related "card" showing a non-comic baseball scene that was used to promote a product (here, the newfangled "barb wire")?

(2) Is this the earliest image of a baseball game in progress at a professional stadium that isn't from a magazine like Harper's? In other words, is this the first "card" showing a game in a major league park?

(3) Is this the earliest image of South End Grounds?

A little background. The engraver is John A. Lowell. He was involved in Boston baseball from the late 1850's forward and was so influential that the Boston Lowells was named after him. The message on the reverse is from the president of the Boston Base Ball Association. As the National League was founded in 1876, this image shows South End Grounds, the stadium of the Boston Red Caps, in its first year as a professional ballpark. The detail is interesting. People peeking over the fence. People buying tickets. Men, women, kids, all at the ballgame. American flags adorning the grandstands. View of Boston in the distance.
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:10 AM
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Leon Leon is offline
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Nice trade card. I should have bid more .
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:32 AM
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Default very nice

I used to collect tobacco trade cards and then baseball trade cards for a short time. I'm getting old but don't remember seeing that one and agree it's quite special. In any event a game in progress is unusual in this non-comic monotone form in this medium. I'll try and do a little research on your first 2 questions - last one out of my league....... As an aside - I know barbed wire guys are a bit nuts and suppose that makes this a three or four way cross collectible :-)
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:43 AM
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Runscott Runscott is offline
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That is super-cool!
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:17 PM
spec spec is offline
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Thought I'd seen this card before. Another copy sold for a bit over $2,000 at Heritage in Nov. 2011. As for it being the earliest image of the South End Grounds, which incidentally hosted professional baseball from 1871 to 1875 when Boston was in the National Association, there is at least one earlier team photo that shows elements of the ballpark, but I haven't seen an earlier panorama.
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Old 06-15-2013, 09:12 PM
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Paul C.
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Close-up images show some good detail...
There's not even a bench. The players sit on the grass or stand.
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File Type: jpg 1876---Boston-BB-Grounds,-l.jpg (44.0 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 1876---Boston-BB-Grounds2.jpg (77.5 KB, 65 views)
File Type: jpg 1876---Boston-BB-Grounds3.jpg (53.3 KB, 66 views)
File Type: jpg 1876---Boston-BB-Grounds4.jpg (45.0 KB, 66 views)
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