Could you imagine?! Wonder if any of the card companies will try to snatch these up for inserts? What a marketing gimmick that would be!
Family discovers seven rare Ty Cobb cards possibly worth $1M
In a reminder that it's always worth double-checking every old paper bag or shoebox we find around the house before discarding it, a family believed to be from South Carolina recently came upon a baseball card goldmine while doing just that.
According to the Associated Press, this family, which prefers to remain anonymous, pulled not one, but seven identical Ty Cobb cards from an old, beat up paper bag. The print period, according to baseball card experts, was sometime between 1909 and 1911. And before this discovery, only 15 copies of this specific card were known to still exist.
The card is distinctive because of text on the back that reads "TY COBB — KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD" in green ink. That means the card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company as part of its T206 series, which also produced a Honus Wagner card that has arguably become the most famous sports card ever. With everyone factored in, some experts believe the Ty Cobb "Lucky 7" find could exceed $1 million collectively.
"I am not sure if any other baseball card find is more remarkable than this new discovery," Joe Orlando, the president of Professional Sports Authenticator in Newport Beach, California, said in a statement released Wednesday.
Orlando was a part of the card-verifying process, so his excitement is obviously genuine.
The discovery was made when family members checked the contents of the bag at the run-down home of a deceased great-grandfather. The family wasn't sure what to make of the discovery at first, but quickly sought opinions from experts as near as Myrtle Beach and as far as California.
Of course, the experts and analysts likely didn't know what to make of it either. They take hundreds of calls and view thousands of cards every year, never knowing what to expect. But once they put eyes to this collection, it was immediately clear they were viewing something unique and something very special.
Publicist Donn Pearlman, who helped announce the finding, said only that they are from a southern state and that the cards were first taken to a dealer in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
That dealer, Rick Snyder of MINT State Inc., said his initial reaction after getting a voicemail from the family was "absolute skepticism."
"I doubted they were authentic because finding seven of these cards at one place at one time seemed almost impossible," Snyder said. But after examining photos and then finally seeing the cards themselves a week later, he became convinced.
Orlando was also skeptical at first, but now calls this one of the greatest discoveries in the history of our card collecting and sports memorabilia. Though he says the cards were not in the best possible condition, rating them around a four on a 1-10 scale, they make up for it by being unique and extremely rare.
Credit: Mark Townsend, Big League Stew