The First Baseball Token Ever Made

With Spring in the air and the ballparks back to normal...thought I would answer a question a collector asked me the other day...

What was the first Baseball Coin or Token or Medal....   The answer is....

Drumroll please

 

From 1858 the Pioneer Base Ball Club token,  made by the famous 19th-century medalist and coin collector, John Adams Bolen.

Several versions exist the White Metal tokens 125 pieces, and another 75 were struck in bronze.

The face of the 1 1/4" Dia. token features an image of a BaseBall batter, with "J.A. Bolen" below it. "Pioneer Base Ball Club" text around the perimeter followed by 13 stars.

Further text on the back reads, "Organized April 30, 1858, Play Ground on Hampden Park, Springfield, Mass." Crossed bats and ball at the bottom.

These tokens were ordered in 1861 by team Secretary Charles Vinton to honor the third anniversary of the formation of the Pioneer Base Ball Club in Springfield, Massachusetts, April 30th, 1858.

The medallions were given to team officials, employees, and players after defeating the Boston Bowdoins. Team members took such pride in their medals that “Ham” Downing had his medal buried with him.

 

Now Play Ball!

 

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