Baseball Card Treasure Trove Found In Ohio Attic

What may be some of the rarest Baseball Cards around have been found in an attic in Ohio:

DEFIANCE, Ohio – Karl Kissner picked up a soot-covered cardboard box that had been under a wooden dollhouse in his grandfather’s attic. Taking a look inside, he saw hundreds of baseball cards bundled with twine. They were smaller than the ones he was used to seeing.

But some of the names were familiar: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.

Then he put the box on a dresser and went back to digging through the attic.

It wasn’t until two weeks later that he learned that his family had come across what experts say is one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting, a discovery worth perhaps millions.

The cards are from an extremely rare series issued around 1910. Up to now, the few known to exist were in so-so condition at best, with faded images and worn edges. But the ones from the attic in the town of Defiance are nearly pristine, untouched for more than a century. The colors are vibrant, the borders crisp and white.

“It’s like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic,” Kissner said.

Sports card experts who authenticated the find say they may never again see something this impressive.

“Every future find will ultimately be compared to this,” said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator.

The best of the bunch , 37 cards , are expected to bring a total of $500,000 when they are sold at auction in August during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. There are about 700 cards in all that could be worth up to $3 million, experts say. They include such legends as Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack.

Kissner and his family say the cards belonged to their grandfather, Carl Hench, who died in the 1940s.t

The Honus Wagner card may be the most valuable. Wagner, who played in the late 19th Century for a team in Louisville, Kentucky, and then for 17 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates, famously refused to allow his card to be produced after its initial run because it was sponsored by a tobacco company. As a result, any card featuring Honus Wagner has been incredibly valuable.

Just goes to show that you’ll never know what you might find in someone’s attic.

FILED UNDER: General
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “Kissner and his family say the cards belonged to their grandfather, Carl Hench, who died in the 1940s”

    It’s moving to think of the young boy collecting those cards, with all the enthusiasm and joy of a young boy in love with baseball, never for a moment imagining the treasure he would one day give to his, to him even more unimaginable at that time, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

  2. PJ says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The Honus Wagner card may be the most valuable. Wagner, who played in the late 19th Century for a team in Louisville, Kentucky, and then for 17 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates, famously refused to allow his card to be produced after its initial run because it was sponsored by a tobacco company. As a result, any card featuring Honus Wagner has been incredibly valuable.

    The valuable Honus Wagner card is the T206 Honus Wagner, the found cards are from the E98 series which are caramel cards and not tobacco cards.

  3. al-Ameda says:

    Honus Wagner was on the juice.