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Spalding heritage: History of Firsts

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.

Spalding heritage: 94Fifty basketball Spalding heritage: 2012 94Fifty text

Spalding announces partnership with InfoMotion Sports Technologies in developing the 94Fifty basketball. This technology automatically counts and analyzes a player’s ability to repeat shooting and ball-handling skills at game speed, providing in-depth analysis of the player’s muscle memory. Featured and tested on ESPN's "Sport Science"*. Visit 94fifty.com for more information.

Spalding heritage: 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, and with better form.

Spalding heritage: 2007 The Beast

Glass Portable Backboard - THE BEAST® 60" Glass Portable - THE BEAST® portable basketball
system brings NBA quality home to driveways everywhere.

Spalding heritage: 2006 NEVERFLAT basketball Spalding heritage: 2006 NEVERFLAT

First Ball Guaranteed to Stay Inflated

The Spalding NEVERFLAT® Basketball is the first ever ball with Pressure Retention Technologies and is the only ball guaranteed 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!

Spalding heritage: 2004 Spalding footballs

Official Balls Announced. Spalding designs a dynamic new football that becomes the official ball of the Arena Football League (AFL). 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.

Spalding heritage: official Rucker League basketball and Holcome Rucker Park sign Spalding heritage: 2003

Official Ball of the Rucker League

Spalding becomes the official ball of the Rucker Park Basketball League.

Spalding heritage: 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.

Spalding heritage: Infusion basketball Spalding heritage: 2001

First 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.

Spalding heritage: WNBA logo, Spalding become official basketball Spalding heritage: 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.

Spalding heritage: 1992

First 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.

Spalding heritage: 1983 Spalding became the Official Ball of the NBA

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.

Spalding heritage: shot of Spalding basketball Spalding heritage: 1972

First Synthetic Leather Basketball

Spalding heritage: executive golf ball Spalding heritage: 1968

First 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.

Spalding heritage: A.G. Spalding Spalding heritage: 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.

Spalding heritage: first liquid center golf ball Spalding heritage: 1930

First 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.

Spalding heritage: 1900 and two baseballs

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.

Spalding heritage: 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.

Spalding heritage: 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."

Spalding heritage: 1889

A.G. Spalding takes the top pro ball players around the globe playing exhibition games to introduce.

Spalding heritage: 1888 globe image Spalding heritage: 1888

Spalding promotes Baseball around the world.

Spalding heritage: 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."

Spalding heritage: Chicago White Stockings photo Spalding heritage: 1882

A.G. Spalding becomes President of the Chicago White Stockings.

Spalding heritage: Official Rules Guide for Baseball Spalding heritage: 1878

Spalding
publishes first
“Official Rules
Guide for
Baseball".

Spalding heritage: first major league baseball glove Spalding heritage: 1877

Spalding makes the First Major League Baseball Glove. Throughout its' history, dozens of Hall of Fame players have worn Spalding fielding gloves.

Spalding heritage: Spalding Baseball Trademark Spalding heritage: 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).

Spalding heritage: 1875 horse image Spalding heritage: 1875 city scape image Spalding heritage: 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.

Spalding heritage: 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.

* ESPN is a registered trademark of ESPN Inc. and is not affiliated with SPALDING and / or 94FIFTY.