Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    1859 Brooklyn Atlantics Presentation Baseball

    Appraised Value:

    $20,000 - $30,000

    Appraised on: July 10, 2010

    Appraised in: Miami Beach, Florida

    Appraised by: Jasmani Francis

    Category: Sports Memorabilia

    Episode Info: Miami Beach, Hour 1 (#1501)

    Originally Aired: January 3, 2011

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Baseball
    Period / Style: 19th Century
    Value Range: $20,000 - $30,000

    Related Links:

    Article: 1859 Baseball: What Do the Numbers Mean?
    Further research revealed the answer.

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:04)


    Appraised By:

    Jasmani Francis
    Sports Memorabilia

    RR Auction

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: This was given to me a few years ago by my grandfather. It was given to him originally by a groundskeeper that worked for Ebbets Field, which was in Brooklyn, New York, where my grandfather's originally from. They moved to Florida in the early '60s, and it sat in a sock in a box in a closet for the past 50 years.

    APPRAISER: Here you can see that it's dated June 23 of 1859. And what it is is when they played games, they would commemorate their games and celebrate that they played a game by stamping it as such. But here's what makes this ball interesting. The Brooklyn Atlantics were the first champions of organized baseball, the first champions of an organized league-- the National Association of Baseball Players. If baseball has roots, here it is. This is it.

    GUEST: That's what I figured.

    APPRAISER: The Brooklyn Atlantics, no association with the Dodgers at all. They began in, I believe, 1855 and they were done in the 1870s. So this is a pre-Civil War heirloom; it's a treasure.

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: I daresay this is the oldest sports piece the ANTIQUES ROADSHOW has ever had.

    GUEST: Really?

    APPRAISER: It's got some condition defects, and that's to be expected. Finding a baseball from the early part of the 20th century is hard enough, let alone one 50 years before that. It's handmade, it was hand stitched. We see that the ball is stamped with a "29" at the end of "Atlantic." We really don't know what that refers to. We also see here that it shows time and what appears to be "15." It's difficult to place that in any kind of context. What's significant here is the date. The way to preserve this is definitely not to keep it in a sock. I think you put it in a ball case, you store it away somewhere dark and dry.

    GUEST: Yeah, yeah.

    APPRAISER: At auction, this ball has a value of $20,000-plus.

    GUEST: Really? Wow.

    APPRAISER: Yeah.

    GUEST: Wow.

    APPRAISER: Were I to insure it, I'd go with $30,000.

    GUEST: Really? Well, thanks a lot.

    APPRAISER: My pleasure.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube