In 1990 at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, a local historian named Linda Gradofsky discovered an original copy of the world’s first known baseball periodical, The Bat and Ball. The May 1, 1867 publication “Devoted to our National Game” was the “Second Season” of the series. Published without photographs or advertisements, the paper was written for Hartford’s earliest baseball fans. Columns included season previews of clubs from around the nation as well as scores from recent games played.
The paper sold for 5 cents per copy on the streets of Hartford, Connecticut and 14 issues a year was delivered for 50 cents to subscribers. The Bat and Ball featured ”base ball” happenings throughout the country (apart from a column on cricket) during the post-Civil War era. The sport, still in its infancy, was becoming increasingly more popular and fans demanded closer coverage of the sport. Hartford was on the forefront of baseball documentation and fandom.
Here’s the Second Season of The Bat and Ball: