Flashback Product of the Week: 1888 R & S Artistic Series Baseball

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Baseball rules in the 19th century were quite different from today.  Apparently players back then needed to know the Macarena.

We’re going way back with this one.  I’m talking about the 1888 R & S Artistic Series Baseball set.  Its a small set, containing only ten cards.  There are no specific players or team names.  What they do show is a generic baseball player wearing a uniform associated with the city that is listed on the card.  The cities include St. Louis, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Chicago, and Brooklyn.  Ironically these were the major baseball cities in 1885.  For some reason these cards get the rap for being distributed in 1888.  How they were distributed is still a mystery.  When going back this far, things like that tend to get a little fuzzy.

Condition is an issue that applies to all sets, but it goes double for this product.  Piecing together scrapbooks was a popular pastime during the late 1800’s and these are thought to have been made just for that.  Most were hand cut and glued into scrapbooks.  That leaves very few in good condition.  If your looking to add a 19th century card to your collection and your on a budget, this set might be the way to go.  Some of these cards can be picked up for under $100.00 depending on the condition.

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