Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Spalding (A. G.) Co.
Spalding (A. G.) Co.

Spalding (A. G.) Co.

Albert G. Spalding, a native of Illinois, played baseball professionally with the Boston Red Stockings and the Chicago White Stockings during the 1870s. In 1876, Spalding started a sporting goods business in Chicago, helped found baseball's National League, and served as both player and manager of the new Chicago Club baseball team. By the 1880s, the company had branches around the country. The Spalding Co. developed the ball for the first-ever organized basketball game in 1891. In 1938, when Spalding was purchased by BTR of England, it employed about 250 people at a plant on Chicago's South Side. Sold by BTR during the 1960s, Spalding was purchased by a New York investment company in the 1990s. By the early 2000s, Spalding was based in Massachusetts, and still a sporting goods powerhouse.