Here's a neat card I have tucked away and almost forgot I had.
This is an 1880's (I think) Trade Card with a baseball theme. Trade cards were given away in the mid to late nineteenth century to advertise products or services. When color lithography became popular, these cards were printed in abundence.
The one I have is not really rare or even that hard to find, but it is a good example of a trade card from that era. There were thousands of different subjects that would be pictured on trade cards and baseball was one of them.
The game was starting to become more popular in the late 1800's and printers came up with some very nice designs and some very basic ones.
Mine is quite simple really with only a couple of colors but some of them are very colorful and are great works of art.
A few years ago, the US Post Office came out with a baseball themed stamp that was taken from a trade card. I did a post about these when they came out because my wife bought me a sheet of the stamps.
Here are a few images of other trade cards so you can get a better idea of the different styles.
This first one is the one the stamp was made from with images of the stamps next.
I really like these old trade cards and I think they are very undervalued at this time to be honest. Some of them sell for hundreds of dollars but you can find some for less than twenty on eBay.
After all, these things are considered by many to be the first baseball cards.
Enjoy the hobby all...it's an awesome one.