Exceedingly rare carte de visite (CDV) picturing the 1865 National Base Ball Club of Albany, New York. Nine uniformed members of the club are pictured posing together in a studio setting together with the club's three formally attired team executives. This is an extremely early baseball CDV and the only 1865 Nationals CDV we have ever seen. Each player and executive is identified (last name only for the players) below his respective image: Lansing, Sprague, Johnson, Server, E. W. Tracey (V. Pr.), Waddell, W. Bruce Jr. (Sec.), Ross (Capt.), E. C. Smith (Pres.), Woolverton, Cantwell, and McClure. Lettered "National Nine, 1865" along the base. The photographer's credit stamp, "Churchill & Denison, No. 522 Broadway, Albany, N. Y.," appears on the reverse, along with a two-cent stamp and additional printed lettering that reads "By sending this card, or No. of Negative, duplicates can be had at any time." One of the most striking features of this photo is its exceptional clarity, which allows one to easily observe all the period equipment on display, including bats, balls, hat, and bases. An interesting point of detail is that the lettering on the belts of all the players reads "Nationals," with the exception of McClure's belt, which reads "Champion Belt." The Nationals were a well organized ball club that came to prominence right after the Civil War. The club is best remembered by historians today as the tenth opponent of the legendary Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869, who defeated the Nationals by a score of 49-8 on June 8th in Albany. Both the photo and mount (4 x 2.5 inches) display a few tiny areas of light foxing and are otherwise in Excellent to Mint condition. An exceptional baseball CDV dating to the earliest days of our National Pastime. SGC has encapsulated the card and certified it as "Authentic." Reserve $5,000. Estimate (open).