|After the conclusion of the 1888 baseball season, sporting goods magnate Albert Spalding, owner of the Chicago White Stocking (later the Cubs) took his team and an All-Star squad of opposing players off on a world tour. His goal was to spread the gospel – and also, presumably to open up new markets for his products. The tour made stops in New Zealand, Australia, Ceylon, Italy, France, England and (most famously) Egypt, where players posed beside the Sphinx and played before the great pyramids. Much to Spalding’s disappointment, the game wasn’t understood or enjoyed in many of the countries they visited.
This painting is from a photo taken at the Great Pyramids in 1889.