Ticket to the First Annual Ball of the New York Magnolia Ball Club

Baseball history photo: Ticket to the First Annual Ball of the New York Magnolia Ball Club, Friday evening, February 9, 1844. Click photo to return to previous page.

Baseball History photo: Ticket to the First Annual Ball of the New York Magnolia Ball Club, Friday evening, February 9, 1844. The original add for the ball, taken from the New York Herald on February 9th, 1844 read as follows: "THE FIRST ANNUAL BALL of the New York Magnolia Ball Club will take place at National Hall, Canal St. on Friday evening, Feb. 9th, inst. The Club pledge themselves that no expense or exertions shall be spared to render this (their first) Ball worthy the patronage of their friends. The Ball Room will be splendidly decorated with the insignia of the Club. Brown's celebrated Band is engaged for the occasion. Tickets $1, to be had of the undersigned, and at the bar of National Hall. JOSEPH CARLISLE, Chairman. PETER H. GRAHAM, Secretary."

The Magnolia Ball Club was formed in the very early 1840's, was comprised of members from New York and played its matches at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, preceding the famous Knickerbocker of New York Club in all three instances. The image depicted on this $1 ticket is the earliest relating to the "New York Game" of base ball to date. Although stakes represent the "bases," the pitching is underhand and eight players can be seen in the field. It also appears that the runner who is shown half-way between first and second is stealing second.

The card has a silver finish and is printed on heavy stock paper, measures 5 by 3¼ inches and appears to be intended to be saved as a remembrance of the event. The engraving is signed 'Eng. By W. Fairthorne.' Fairthorne, charged but not convicted as a forger in 1839, began working in New York City in 1839 until his death in 1853.

The image and information were graciously provided by John Thorn. A detailed article written by Mr. Thorn about the ticket appeared in the "Woodstock Times" on 11/15/2007 and can be seen in its entirety at: http://ulsterpublishing.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=article&articleID=433443 . Click photo to return to previous page.

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