Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874
“The new Photographic Score Card which was introduced to the public in the Boston-Athletic match May 20th, will again be introduced in the Boston-Chicago match, June 24, and a different photograph will appear at every match game during the balance of the season.”
–Mort Rogers, May 31, 1871
“A new invention in the score card line, and one that is destined to supersede all other such arrangements now in use, made its appearance on the Union grounds in the games of Monday and Tuesday. It is an ordinary large sized score card, with a photograph of some prominent ball player pasted on the outside of each. The whole arrangement is very neat and complete. Mr. Mortimer Rogers, of Boston, and a member of the Boston base ball club party, is the originator of the device.”
–Cincinnati Daily Gazette, July 7, 1871
“Mort Rogers, of Boston, now with the club, has gotten out an exceedingly need photographic score card. The series which he proposes to publish, will comprise pictures of every professional ball player in the country, and will make a valuable collection.”
–Cleveland Leader, July 13, 1871
Inspired by the innovative and rare Mort Rogers Scorecards, circa 1871-1872, the Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874 series features portraits of baseball players and pioneers spanning the era from 1850 to 1874. The series includes many of the earliest known and rarest images of the men who organized and played baseball during its nascent stages of recorded development.
Despite the relative obscurity of most of the subjects in this series, I adore this collection as it represents countless hours of research into the lives of men and origins of the game that I had previously known very little about. The game has a fascinating little history, filled with great characters and achievements, and my goal was to tap into that history with this series. If you have a desire to collect images of the stars, game-changers, local heroes and forgotten utility men of the game’s earliest days as a profession – the Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874 series is an excellent place to begin.
Concerning city & team designations, I followed two simple rules:
1. If a player is pictured in uniform, I assigned him to that team.
2. Otherwise, I assigned players to the teams for which they appeared in the most games before 1875 or had the greatest historical impact.
Size, Weight & Design:
- Dimensions: 2″ x 3″
- Thickness: 24 pts
- Designed: June, 2013
- The Pioneer Portraits I: 1850-1874 set is now complete with 53 cards in the active series
- Due to some regrettable mistakes on my part, there also exist 3 error cards and 6 outtakes that I no longer produce
- Here are printable: Alphabetical & Team Checklists
Most Popular Cards:
- The cards here are presented in reverse order by average winning bid
- A card is eligible to make this list only after it has been issued four times
- This list will be updated whenever changes are necessary
- Last updated: 4/20/2017