Baseball Cards
by Richard McKinstry

Tobacco companies first issued baseball cards during the 1880s to promote cigarette sales. These cards found a welcome audience among adults who followed America's emerging national pastime. Today's baby boom generation became acquainted with baseball cards not because of tobacco advertising, but because they chewed bubble gum, and bubble gum came packaged with cards. Children, and probably some adults as well, eagerly looked forward to adding to their ever-growing card collections by trading duplicates with their friends. From year to year baseball cards changed in appearance, but they always offered portraits of players at bat, in the field, or on the mound along with their statistics. Modern cards are not confined to major league players as minor league teams and special leagues also issue sets of baseball cards.

   © 2011 The Ephemera Society of America