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Harper's Baseball Woodcuts from 1874


Harper's Weekly was a popular New York City tabloid-sized magazine. They were well known for their woodcuts prints, or images printed from carved blocks of wood. There was a wide range of subjects, including presidents, nature and social life. From the late 1850's to the 1880's they produced a number of baseball woodcuts, usually depicting notable players and teams. A handful of other magazines produced similar baseball woodcuts. These prints are not detailed like the pictures in today's newspapers. Close examination reveal the woodcut image to be made up of lines, like a drawing.

The following shows three representative Harper's Woodcuts, all from 1874.



July 25th, 1874. Philadelphia Athletics Team Composite. The player in the bottom right corner is a 21 year old Cap Anson, who went on to become the greatest player of the 19th century.


September 12, 1874: The Maple Leaf Base-ball club of Guelph, Canada. The team president sits in the middle. Baseball has a long history in Canada.



September 5th, 1874 'Baseball in England.' A British crowd watches a game between the Boston Red Stockings and the Philadelphia Athletics. This was part of a 'world tour' to gain international support for the game.



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