It’s one of the ironies of history that the myth that Abner Doubleday invented our national pastime has been supplanted by another inaccuracy: that the game was the invention of a group of New York social-setters, the Knickerbockers, led by Alexander Cartwright. The Knickerbockers did contribute structure to the sportâ€”what role Cartwright had is debatableâ€”but theirs was more a matter of codification than flat-out invention. A few recent discoveries, as noted by the eminent John Thorn, expand the picture considerably. Pictured above may be the first “baseball card,” a souvenir invitation to a gathering of the Magnolia Ball Club, from 1843. The Magnolias appear to have predated the Knickerbockers, and were more proletarian in their makeup. The invitation is the earliest known image of grown men playing baseball, and the earliest physical artifact relating to the “New York Game,” the evolutionary precursor of modern baseball. A fitting bit of history on this Thanksgiving Weekend.