- Card series: Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
- City: New York
Andrew Peck (1836-1918) and his partner Walter Irving Snyder founded the first true sporting goods store in 1866 at 124-128 Nassau Street in New York City. The pair wanted to promote their business and thought trade cards might help. In 1869, this was a common technique for many retailers, but Peck and Snyder wanted something distinctive. They came up with the idea of using the image of Harry Wright’s nationally renowned new professional baseball squad, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, as their motif. A few versions were printed, the most prized of which today features the players in uniform and their names below the photo. No one could have known that this modest marketing scheme would pave the way for one of the great products and hobbies in American history, as Peck and Snyder unwittingly established a framework for the mass-produced baseball picture card. Following the Red Stockings release, the company issued cards featuring the hometown Mutuals and rival Chicago White Stockings in 1870. Other manufacturers soon followed suit and baseball cards became an advertising mainstay.
- Peck posted inning-by-inning telegraph reports of the big game between the NY Mutuals and Wright’s club in 1870 to a fevered crowd of NY “cranks.” Final tally: Cincinnati 15, NY 12.
- Peck started his business with ten cents to his name and died a rich man
- Perhaps not rich enough to buy his own trade cards today though: a Peck & Snyder 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings card recently sold for $75,000