Here's a very rare offshoot from New York in 1833. As you can see, equestrian and aquatic sports predominated.
Cricket hung on in popularity until the late 19th Century whan it was replaced by Baseball. This magazine also has one of the earliest references to competitive tennis.
Baseball Magazine was the predominant publication of the sport begining in 1905, by which time the sport was wildly popular. Here's the first issue.
Remember, today's collectibles are items which were not recognized as particularly valuable in their time. Manufactured collectibles rarely are worth collecting. The baseball card market, since the mid-1970's has been ridiculously overmarketed. Bob Feller estimated that he's signed his name over 100,000 times. I ask you, how rare can that be in the future?
The same is the case for the millions of perfect condition Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry Rookie cards from the 1980's. The notion that baseball collectibles are a stock market of individual players will just not hold up with time. Supply and demand!
If you love baseball, as I do, its nice to have reminders of your favorite players to look at. Just don't get sucked into the notion that someday you'll be able to retire on them. Aside from the blatantly phony ones, sports autographs and memorabilia from the 70's, 80's and 90's are just not worth putting serious money into. Enough morality, I just hate to see too many people victimized by slick marketing.
More great (and truly rare) images to come.