It’s an amazing find: “Seven cards worth well into seven figures … all found at the bottom of great-grandpa’s old paper bag.”
That’s how Professional Sports Authenticator President Joe Orlando has described century-old baseball cards that were recently discovered by a family in the rural South while they were going through their great-grandparents’ dilapidated house.
The identical Ty Cobb cards printed between 1909 and 1911 have been dubbed “The Lucky 7 Find.” Prior to the recent discovery, only 15 examples of this particular Cobb card, one of the rarest of those issued, were known to exist.
Sale of the cards will be handled on behalf of the family by Mint State, a memorabilia dealer in South Carolina that reached out to Orlando for authentication and grading of the cards.
Orlando writes that the cards received numerical grades ranging from “fair” to “the two highest grades received in the marketplace” despite expected minor wear that usually results from handling:
The combined eye appeal of the group is sensational on the face of the cards, far exceeding the numerical grades assigned. This included the backs, which are considered very clean for the issue in question. Each card was absent any eyesore-like stains, which plague at least a decent portion of the previously discovered examples.
The family that discovered the cards requested to remain anonymous but told Mint State owner Rick Snyder that they found the cards face down at the bottom of an old, torn paper bag that had been lying on the floor and initially appeared to be trash.
They consulted Mint State because they recognized the name Ty Cobb and thought the cards might be of some value.
According to Orlando, it’s one of the most valuable cards in the entire hobby. Even with a grade of “poor,” other examples of it have sold for more than $150,000 in the past.
In conclusion, he writes:
This is what the hobby is all about. Even though we live in the information age, the Internet age, undiscovered treasure is still buried out there. There is no question that these types of finds are few and far between … but until every attic is searched and every old box or bag examined, these finds represent the hope that all collectors dream about.
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