Reach's Base Ball Goods
Baseball history photo: This Reach ad first appeared in the Spalding Base Ball Guide in 1895. Al Reach was a former baseball player who played for the Athletic Club of Philadelphia when baseball held amateur status and when it became professional. Reach retired from playing in 1875 but opened his sporting goods store in Philadelphia in 1874, four years before Albert Spalding, specializing in baseball products. Al Reach also printed the first baseball guide for the National League for their inaugural season in 1876. The Reach Base Ball became the official ball for the American Association beginning in 1883 and he continued to produce them until 1888. In 1889, Reach could no longer compete with Spalding and sold his business to him. With the acquisition of Reach, Spalding produced the official game ball for both professional leagues. Spalding continued to add to his sporting goods empire by purchasing his rivals instead of competing against them and continued to manufacture products under the original companies name giving the public the false impression of competition. Click photo to return to previous page.