World-Class Collection of Early Women-in-Baseball Memorabilia Up for Auction at Love of the Game

A museum-quality collection of women-in-baseball memorabilia from the late 19th century and early 20th century is up for auction at Love of the Game Auctions (LOTG). With bidding open now through Saturday, Aug. 19, 2023, the offering provides a trip through the early years of female players in the sport.

Carefully assembled over decades by a single consigner, the 97-piece collection includes cabinets, postcards and photos. It showcases both the theatrical, burlesque side and true early athleticism, as female players fought against the idea of baseball being a gendered sport.
“We are incredibly fortunate to present this world-class collection,” said Al Crisafulli, LOTG auction director. “It features many players who are recognized pioneers in women’s sports, as well as lesser-known amateur players and teams. Regardless of their prominence, each one of these women helped carried the torch that established the game as America’s Pastime – not just for men, but for everyone.”
LOTG’s Women in Baseball offering also includes a historical retrospective, which can be found beginning on page 52 of the Summer 2023 digital auction catalog. The full digital catalog can be found on the LOTG website, loveofthegameauctions.com.
Overall, more and more female players and teams were established through and beyond the turn of the 20th century. There are countless examples: Early athletes like Lizzie Arlington, Ruth Egan, Maud Nelson and Alta Weiss played professionally with men’s teams. Arlington became the first woman paid to play baseball for a men’s team, signing a contract in 1898 with Atlantic League president Ed Barrow to pitch in exhibitions. These and many other early pioneers helped open the doors for women who are today increasingly competing in 21st century baseball.
Founded in 2012 by longtime hobbyist Crisafulli, LOTG is recognized as one of the most widely respected auction houses in the industry, specializing in sports memorabilia and cards – with an emphasis on pre-World War II material. Love of the Game facilitates sales ranging from world-class collections to individual inheritance pieces – and everything in between. LOTG holds three major annual auctions, as well as specialty sales. The company is currently accepting consignments for its fall sale, to be held in November 2023. For more information, visit loveofthegameauctions.com.

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