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Albert Goodwill Spalding
FROM THE BEGINNING
It was all about being first, being the best… being what others could only aspire to become. Established by Boston Red Stockings pitcher A.G. Spalding in 1876, Spalding has long been a leader of innovation and quality in the sporting goods category. From the development of the very first basketball to the latest in NEVERFLAT® technology, Spalding’s tradition of innovation continues.
1871
Albert Goodwill Spalding begins his professional baseball career with the Boston Red Stockings.
Over his career, he achieved a .323 batting average, an earned run average of 2.14 and an overall winning percentage of .796, a record that still stands today. He also became baseball’s first 200 game winner.
1871 Spalding
1875
From 1871 to 1875, A.G. Spalding won an outstanding 241 of 301 games he pitched for the Boston Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings.
He pitched every game with a baseball he had developed himself. In 1876 this future Hall of Famer retired and entered the sporting goods business full-time. For the next 100 years, his baseball would remain as the official ball of the Major Leagues.
1876
The first A.G. Spalding & Brothers sporting goods store opens in Chicago.
Combining his baseball experience with his business skills, A.G. Spalding & Bros. emerges as a dominant company in the sporting goods industry. Spalding makes the First Major League Baseball and becomes the official ball of the National League for the first 100 years (1876-1976) and of the American League (1889-1973).
1876 Spalding
1877
Spalding makes the First Major League Baseball Glove.
Throughout its’ history, dozens of Hall of Fame players have worn Spalding fielding gloves.
1877 Spalding Baseball Glove
1878
Spalding publishes first “Official Rules Guide for Baseball”.
1878 Spalding Official Baseball Rules
1882
A.G. Spalding becomes President of the Chicago White Stockings.
1882 Spalding Chicago White Stockings
1887
Spalding develops and manufactures the very first American football.
Each ball is made from the finest quality foot leather and features rawhide lacing. Every ball is guaranteed to be “perfect in material and workmanship, and correct in shape and size.”
1887 Spalding very first American football
1888
1889
Spalding promotes Baseball around the world.
A.G. Spalding takes the top pro ball players around the globe playing exhibition games to introduce.
1888-1889 Spalding top pro ball players
1894
1st Basketball
When Dr. James Naismith invented the game of basketball in 1891, players had to use a soccer ball. Naismith asks A.G. Spalding to develop the very first basketball, and it isn’t long before the official rules of the game read, “the ball made by A.G. Spalding & Bros. shall be the official ball.”
1894 Spalding First Basketball
1895
1st American Volleyball
The game of volleyball is invented by Holyoke, MA. Spalding is asked to develop a ball and manufactures the very first American volleyball.
1895 Spalding First American Volleyball
1900
Spalding is the largest manufacturer of Baseball bats in the United States.
Spalding had factories across the nation and was producing 1 million bats per year, and unheard of number at that time.
1900 Spalding Baseball bats
1930
1st Liquid Center Golf Ball
Spalding develops and introduces the first wound balata ball with liquid center, the Kros-Flite. This construction represents a major technological advancement in golf ball.
1930 Spalding First Liquid Center Golfball
1939
A.G. Spalding was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame the year it opened.
Today, Spalding still maintains the same drive, balancing professionalism on and off the field, following in the cleat marks of their founder; rooted firmly in the past, focusing on the future and maintaining the true spirit of competition.
1939 Albert Goodwill Spalding
1968
1st 2-piece Golf Ball
The Spalding Executive is the first two-piece performance ball, and the most consistent and durable golf ball ever made. Its groundbreaking construction allows it to stay “in-round” and “in play” far longer than the softer Balata-covered balls.
1968-Spalding-First-2 piece Golfballl
1972
1st Synthetic Leather Basketball
1972 Spalding First Synthetic Leather Basketball
1983
Spalding became the Official Ball of the NBA
Made from the finest full grain leather and meeting the most stringent quality and performance standards, the Spalding basketball is selected as the official ball of the National Basketball Association.
1983 Spalding Official Ball NBA
1992
1st Composite Leather Basketball
Spalding is the first to develop and introduce composite leather cover materials. The new technology makes the ball more durable while providing a super soft touch for greater feel and control vs. traditional leather.
1992 Spalding First Composite Leather Basketball
1997
Official Ball of the WNBA
Spalding develops the trademark Oatmeal and Orange game ball featuring a ZK Microfiber Composite cover that is deemed the official ball of the WNBA.
1997 Spalding Official Ball WNBA
2001
1st Integrated Micro-Pump®
After 20 months of testing and perfecting, Spalding introduces the first and only ball with a built in Micro Pump®. Each ball is precision engineered to meet all NBA performance standards. During 2001, Spalding also developed the official ball of the NDBL (National Basketball Development League).
2001 Spalding First Integrated Micro Pump
2002
Official Ball of the MISL
Featuring INFUSION technology and innovative graphic design for enhanced indoor visibility, this Spalding soccer ball is named the official ball of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
2002 Spalding Official Ball MISL
2003
Official Ball of the Rucker League
Spalding becomes the official ball of the Rucker Park Basketball League.
2003 Spalding Official Ball Rucker League
2004
Official Balls Announced
Spalding designs a dynamic new football that becomes the official ball of the Arena Football League. Spalding also becomes the Official Ball of the King of the Beach Volleyball Tournament. The popular AFL gameball is modified and becomes the official ball of Pop Warner Football. Spalding becomes the Official Ball of the EBC ( Entertainers Basketball Classic) at Rucker Park.
2004 Spalding Official Volleybal King of the Beach
2006
First Ball Guaranteed to Stay Inflated – NEVERFLAT
The Spalding NEVERFLAT® Basketball is the first ever ball with Pressure Rentention Technologies and is the only ball guarranteed to stay fully inflated for at least 1 year – 10x longer than any traditional basketballs! The NEVERFLAT series is breakthrough technology that dramatically increases pressure retention, so you are….Always Ready to Play!
2006 Spalding Neverflat
2007
60″ Glass Portable – THE BEAST®
Portable basketball system brings NBA quality home to driveways everywhere.
2007 Spalding the Beast
2008
First Gear specialized for Youth – ROOKIE GEAR
Spalding introduces Rookie Gear, a sporting goods line of youth-sized basketballs, footballs and soccer balls that weigh 25 percent less than standard youth products. Specifically engineered for the 40+ million kids aged 8 and under, Spalding Rookie Gear?s authentic, innovative product line is designed so kids can shoot, rebound, kick and throw more easily and successfully.
2008 Spalding Rookie Gear
2012
Spalding becomes official ball of the Euroleague
2012 Spalding Euroleague Ball
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Since 1876, igniting the inner confidence that lives in athletes of all levels. Our heritage of high quality basketball products is what makes us stand out while you excel.
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