Library of Congress


The Library of Congress > Teachers > Classroom Materials > Collection Connections > Baseball Cards, 1887-1914

[Detail] A. A. Mattern/John Kling. Hassan Triple Folders, 1912.

Baseball Cards, 1887-1914 provides students an opportunity to develop their skills in working with historical images to understand the past and its realtion to the present. They can examine and compare baseball cards to make inferences about the past and understand change through time. By examining the use of baseball cards as advertisements, students may explore the depth of a card's meaning, while other examinations can lead to research projects and discussions about baseball as the national pastime.

Chronological Thinking

Much remains the same in the baseball we know today from how it was first played in the United States. And, too, there are many changes in the game.

Students can search the collection by position name - pitcher, catcher, etc.- and compare what they see to modern baseball. Because baseball is a sport many students know well, they will have the advantage of approaching an historic topic as "experts" of the field. With their keen eyes to the game's detail, they will find they can identify even slight changes in the game. Through their investigation, students will experience what scholars look for when studying other fields. Have students document the techniques they use to compare the past and present.