Trading cards of Wisconsin athletes, 1870-1890
More than a game
Organized sports have had a long history in Wisconsin. Long before the modern professional teams had been born, Wisconsin athletes made names for themselves in sports like baseball, boxing, and cycling. In the late nineteenth century, tobacco companies promoted their products with advertising cards that often featured these sports figures. Covering practically every sport, these cards were meant to be collected from the 1870s through 1890s. They were the predecessors of the commercial trading cards sold today to young fans.