Al Spalding and the beginning of the National League

When looking up information about Al Spalding I found a lot of  interesting stuff, particularly about how baseball leagues functioned at the time.  The National League was established in 1876.   William Hulbert convinced great players to switch teams. In 1876, the National League had eight teams in it, four from the East and four from the West. Surprisingly I also found out that teams were named after the socks they wore, like the Boston Red Stockings and St Louis Browns. In March of 1876, Hulbert convinced three other players to move to Chicago but I am having trouble on finding how much they made.

Boston Red Stockings, DATE. Photographer. Collection. Link.

Al Spalding (center) and the Boston Red Stockings, DATE. Photographer. Collection. Link.

Al Spalding

Al Spalding, The A. G. Spalding Baseball Collection at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchdetail.cfm?trg=1&strucID=137988&imageID=56180&word=albert%20spalding&s=1&notword=&d=&c=&f=&k=1&lWord=&lField=&sScope=&sLevel=&sLabel=&sort=&total=575&num=0&imgs=20&pNum=&pos=13

Al Spalding Forefather of Baseball

I’m doing my microhistory on Al Spalding. He became a huge sports icon in the nineteenth century. I am going to be focusing on his career in baseball from when he started until he ended his career. But he is known today more for making sport equipment for all kinds of sports. Many sports players use his equipment nowadays but know little about the man who made them. In the nineteenth century he was a great player.

So far, I have found two biographies of Al Spalding as well as his “Hall of Fame” page.  A stat sheet of Al Spalding from his years from playing baseball also survives. I’ll also use sources on the history of sport and baseball in the nineteenth century.