FOUND > Attic Baseball Card Fetches $38,000

Rare 19th-century Hall of Famer discovered in attic

Circa 1888 Mickey Welch Baseball Card.

April 26, 2018
By James Massey, What Sells Best News

ONLINE - Heritage Auctions reports, a 19th-century Baseball Card discovered in an attic, has fetched $38,400. However, that's just one part of an amazing story.

THE DISCOVERY

In an article for Forbes, David Seideman reports the card was originally, and unknowingly, discovered in Hartford Connecticut in 1987. That's when a contractor named Bob, found a small wooden box in the attic of a home he had purchased.

Examples of 19th century Baseball Cards on Antiques Roadshow.

After looking through the top layer of cards, the box appeared to be filled with trading cards featuring obscure 19th-century stage stars. Bob didn't think the cards had much value, so he put the box in his basement. Apparently, waiting for a better time to take a second look.



30-years later, he took another look. That's when he found a treasure trove of Baseball Cards had been waiting for him, at the bottom of the box. The cards, all 19th-century players, reportedly had a combined value of $70,000. However, one card in particular stood out.

HALL OF FAMER

The card, an 1888 Mickey Welch was manufactured by the S.F. Hess Tobacco Company, who slipped Baseball Cards into cigarette packs for promotions.

History of Baseball Cards by Silver Jackify.

Michael “Mickey” Welch (1859 – 1941) was the third pitcher in baseball history to reach 300 wins. A feat that led to his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

WHY IT'S RARE

According to Heritage Auctions description, the card (graded SGC 40 VG 3) "is one of less than a handful of known examples" they know of.

COMPARABLE FINDS

While the financial gain isn't as high as some of the recent Baseball Card treasures we’ve tracked. The story is priceless, and it certainly made for a good year for Bob.

Fine details can make a big difference in Baseball Card prices. If you think you've found something special, you should check with several of the experts listed on our free appraisals page.

THE AUCTION

The card was sold as part of Heritage Auctions 2018 April 19-20 Spring Sports Card Catalog Auction as lot #80001. The final sale price after buyer's premium was $38,400.

CARD PRICES

To monitor the real-time price strength of more common cards. Keep an eye on the ongoing highest-bid cards (below) in the Sports Memorabilia category on eBay. To research sold prices for rare or common cards, click here.


BASEBALL CARDS > Antique | Vintage

 

1953 TOPPS #244 WILLIE MAYS SHORT PRINT SGC 88 NM-MT = PSA 8 RARE HIGH GRADE

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1951 Bowman Set Break #253 Mickey Mantle RC PSA 5 EX

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2009 Bowman Chrome Refractor Mike Trout Angels RC Rookie AUTO /500 BGS 9.5 w/ 10

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1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF GRAY BACK PSA 8 SHARP CORNERS

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1933 Goudey Babe Ruth #149 SGC 4 Vg-Ex HIGH END

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2009 Bowman Chrome Refractor Mike Trout ROOKIE RC AUTO /500 BGS 9.5 GEM (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 16h 1m
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2011 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gold Refractor /50 Rookie!!! BGS Gem Mint 9.5

Time Left: 3d 14h 18m
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Ronald Acuna 70th Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Black Label BGS 10/10 RC Auto HOT

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1978 Topps Alan Trammell & Paul Molitor ROOKIE RC #707 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 29m
$4,650.00 with 19 bids


DEREK JETER 1993 2000 SP AUTHENTIC Buy back ON CARD PSA Autograph 10 2/5 1/1

Time Left: 15h 54m
$4,586.00 with 49 bids


1954 Topps Ernie Banks #94 HOF RC PSA 8

Time Left: 2d 14h 14m
$4,550.00 with 29 bids


2009 Bowman Chrome Refractor Mike Trout Angels RC Rookie AUTO /500 BGS 9.5

Time Left: 8d 17h 38m
$4,525.00 with 25 bids


1966 Topps #50 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF PSA 9 " SUPER HIGH END "

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$4,278.00 with 30 bids


1948 Bowman Stan Musial #36 HOF RC PSA 8 ‘WOW’

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2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Angels RC Rookie AUTO BGS 9.5 " HOT CARD "

Time Left: 1d 17h 38m
$4,001.00 with 13 bids


1993 SP Foil Derek Jeter ROOKIE RC #279 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 54m
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BGS 9.5 10 2016 Bowman Chrome Juan Soto GOLD REF REFRACTOR Auto Autograph #35/50

Time Left: 15h 45m
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Mike Trout 2009 Bowman Chrome Refractor RC AUTO 301/500 Angels BGS 9/10 Mint

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1958 Topps High Grade Complete Set - Variations, Mantle/Aaron PSA 5, Maris PSA 4

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1993 SP Foil #279 Derek Jeter New York Yankees RC Rookie BGS 9.5 " HIGH END "

Time Left: 1d 17h 38m
$3,050.00 with 32 bids


1960 Topps Mickey Mantle #350 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 14h 58m
$3,005.00 with 18 bids


1985 Topps Tiffany Roger Clemens ROOKIE RC #181 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 33m
$2,870.00 with 18 bids


1948 Leaf Jackie Robinson Rookie #79 SGC 5 Ex HIGH END

Time Left: 4d 15h 7m
$2,716.00 with 16 bids


1994 SP Foil Alex Rodriguez ROOKIE RC #15 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 57m
$2,700.00 with 8 bids


1963 Topps Pete Rose ROOKIE RC #537 SGC 8 NM-MT (PWCC-PQ)

Time Left: 7d 15h 4m
$2,617.00 with 22 bids


1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. ROOKIE RC #1 BGS 10 PRISTINE (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 41m
$2,469.00 with 37 bids


1955 Topps Roberto Clemente ROOKIE RC #164 SGC 7 NRMT (PWCC-PQ)

Time Left: 7d 14h 44m
$2,370.67 with 19 bids


1954 TOPPS #128 HANK AARON RC PSA 5

Time Left: 15h 4m
$2,281.00 with 31 bids


GAME USED LOT AUTO PATCH LOGO 1/1 JERSEY AUTOGRAPH CURRY JETER MONTANA OHTANI

Time Left: 16h 49m
$2,225.00 with 30 bids


2018 Bowman Chrome Shohei Ohtani Gold Refractor Rookie Auto #39/50 BGS 9.5 RCR

Time Left: 17h 43m
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1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. ROOKIE RC #1 BGS 10 PRISTINE

Time Left: 6d 5h 39m
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2011 Topps Update Mike Trout ROOKIE RC #US175 BGS 10 BLACK LABEL (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 16h 7m
$2,030.00 with 28 bids


1968 Topps Nolan Ryan ROOKIE RC #177 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 16m
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1938 Goudey Heads-Up Joe Dimaggio #274 PSA 4 *Highest Graded on Ebay*

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$2,007.00 with 23 bids


1955 Topps # 123 SANDY KOUFAX PSA 7 NR-MINT - OLD LABEL - REGRADE?

Time Left: 6d 18h 34m
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1955 Topps Hank Aaron #47 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC-HE)

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$1,923.00 with 13 bids


1955 TOPPS #164 ROBERTO CLEMENTE RC PSA 5

Time Left: 15h 4m
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1955 Topps Sandy Koufax ROOKIE RC #123 PSA 7 NRMT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 14h 43m
$1,825.00 with 19 bids


1963 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF PSA 8 NM-MT " PACK FRESH "

Time Left: 7d 17h 38m
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2018 Topps Heritage High Number Real One Ronald Acuna Auto Redemption Red Ink

Time Left: 1d 23h 2m
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2017 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Ronald Acuna ROOKIE RC AUTO /150 PSA 10 (PWCC)

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Lifetime Collection 10,000+ CARDS Vintage Lot 1968 Nolan Ryan RC & 4 Mantles

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1993 SP Foil #279 Derek Jeter New York Yankees RC Rookie PSA 9 " HOT CARD "

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1956 Topps Baseball Complete Set Mantle Williams Aaron Mays Koufax Clemente

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1963 Topps Baseball Complete Set (576) w/ Rose Stargell Mantle Clemente McCovey

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2018 Bowman Chrome Shoei Ohtani Atomic Refractor Rc Auto BGS 9.5 10 9/100

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AARON JUDGE 2013 BOWMAN CHROME DRAFT BLACK WAVE AUTOGRAPH /50 BGS 9.5 AUTO 10

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1951 Bowman Willie Mays ROOKIE RC #305 PSA 2.5 GD+ (PWCC)

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1987 O-Pee-Chee Barry Bonds ROOKIE RC #320 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

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2018 Bowman Chrome Baseball Factory Sealed 12 Box HTA CHOICE HOBBY CASE-36 AUTO

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1949 Bowman #224 Satchell Paige Cleveland Indians RC Rookie HOF PSA 5 EX

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1961 Topps #300 Mickey Mantle PSA 8 NM-Mint

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$1,530.00 with 30 bids


2009 Bowman Chrome Draft MIKE TROUT rookie RC autograph card BGS Mint 9

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1954 Topps Hank Aaron Rookie #128 SGC 5.5 Ex+ Undergraded

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1955 Topps Roberto Clemente ROOKIE RC #164 PSA 5 EX (PWCC-PQ)

Time Left: 7d 14h 43m
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NobleSpirit (CC) 1961 Topps High Grade Complete Set - Mantle PSA 2

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$1,445.00 with 10 bids


2011 TOPPS UPDATE MIKE TROUT DIAMOND #US175 PSA 10 GEM MINT

Time Left: 1d 15h 28m
$1,420.00 with 21 bids


2016 Bowman Chrome Green Refractor Juan Soto ROOKIE RC AUTO /99 BGS 9.5 (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 16h 22m
$1,400.00 with 18 bids


1954 Topps Ernie Banks ROOKIE RC #94 SGC 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 14h 41m
$1,385.00 with 18 bids


High End Lifetime Collection PSA 9 Mickey Mantle Clemente T206 Bowman Topps 1952

Time Left: 2d 17h 9m
$1,383.88 with 14 bids


1958 Topps Baseball Complete Set w/ Mantle Aaron Williams Mays Clemente Kaline

Time Left: 1d 16h 52m
$1,381.00 with 11 bids


1989 Bowman Tiffany #220 Ken Griffey Jr. Mariners RC Rookie HOF PSA 10 GEM MINT

Time Left: 1d 17h 38m
$1,375.00 with 17 bids


2018 Panini National Treasures Baseball Factory Sealed 4 Box Case (Ships 8/26)

Time Left: 1d 15h 45m
$1,374.00 with 7 bids


1956 Topps #135 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF GRAY BACK BVG 8 " HIGH END "

Time Left: 4d 17h 38m
$1,325.99 with 14 bids


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$1,325.00 with 20 bids


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1993 Topps Derek Jeter Colorado Rockies Inaugural Rookie Card - Very Rare

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2010 Bowman Chrome Blue Refractor Manny Machado Orioles RC AUTO /150 PSA 10

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$1,318.00 with 12 bids


1958 Topps Baseball Complete Set (494) w/ Mays Aaron Mantle & 7 Slabbed Cards

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$1,306.00 with 24 bids


1956 Topps Complete 340 Card Set Mantle, Aaron, Mays, Clemente, Robinson, Koufax

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$1,301.00 with 25 bids


1953 Topps Mickey Mantle #82 SGC 5.5 Ex+ HIGH END WELL CENTERED

Time Left: 4d 15h 7m
$1,280.99 with 11 bids


1969 Topps #533 Nolan Ryan New York Mets HOF PSA 9 MINT " RAZOR SHARP "

Time Left: 7d 17h 38m
$1,275.00 with 30 bids


1959 Topps #461 Mickey Mantle Hits 42nd Homer PSA 9 MINT Yankees HOF Superstar!

Time Left: 16h 30m
$1,271.00 with 32 bids


1959 Topps #514 Bob Gibson HOF RC PSA 8

Time Left: 2d 14h 14m
$1,234.00 with 20 bids


2018 TOPPS CHROME JUMBO SEALED 8 BOX HOBBY CASE 40 AUTOS OHTANI ACUNA

Time Left: 15h 1m
$1,225.00 with 34 bids


1962 Topps #200 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF PSA 7.5 " TOUGH CARD "

Time Left: 7d 17h 38m
$1,225.00 with 18 bids


1968 Topps #177 Nolan Ryan Mets RC Rookie HOF PSA 8 NM-MT " HIGH END "

Time Left: 7d 17h 38m
$1,200.00 with 28 bids


2011 Topps Update #US175 MIKE TROUT Cognac Diamond Rookie PSA 10 GEM MINT

Time Left: 7d 13h 54m
$1,199.99 with 1 bids


1971 Topps Thurman Munson #5 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 15h 21m
$1,183.00 with 12 bids


1959 topps baseball almost complete set mid to high grade. Mantle Mays Aaron etc

Time Left: 15h 39m
$1,136.00 with 30 bids


2011 Bowman Chrome Bryce Harper Auto BGS 10/10 Pristine *263

Time Left: 16h 9m
$1,136.00 with 17 bids


1939 Play Ball Ted Williams Rookie #92 SGC 4 Vg-Ex HIGH END UNDERGRADED

Time Left: 4d 15h 7m
$1,136.00 with 14 bids


1975 topps george brett psa 9 #228 Rookie

Time Left: 5d 13h 39m
$1,134.00 with 4 bids


1953 Topps Set Break # 82 Mickey Mantle BVG 5.5 EXCELLENT+

Time Left: 7d 12h 53m
$1,131.00 with 25 bids


1967 Topps Rod Carew Rookie RC PSA 8.5 NO RESERVE

Time Left: 1d 14h 58m
$1,125.00 with 18 bids


2009 Bowman Sterling Prospects Mike Trout ROOKIE RC AUTO PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

Time Left: 7d 16h 2m
$1,123.00 with 23 bids


1975 Topps #320 Pete Rose PSA 10 Reds Baseball Card

Time Left: 15h 39m
$1,100.00 with 11 bids


Bryce Harper 2011 Bowman Chrome Refractor RC AUTO 481/500 BGS 9.5/10 Gem Mint

Time Left: 5d 6h 24m
$1,100.00 with 11 bids


1933 Goudey Gum Baseball Card #92 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees ORIGINAL

Time Left: 14h 23m
$1,086.07 with 32 bids


1967 Topps #581 Tom Seaver HOF RC PSA 8

Time Left: 2d 14h 15m
$1,085.00 with 15 bids


Derek Jeter 2018 Topps Diamond Icons Dual Jersey Patch Auto 1/1 Yankees [M2]

Time Left: 18h 53m
$1,059.00 with 10 bids


Miguel Andujar 2013 Bowman Chrome Auto Blue Refractor /150 Autograph PSA 10 RC

Time Left: 1d 12h 36m
$1,058.00 with 35 bids


2018 TOPPS HERITAGE SHOHEI OHTANI REAL ONE RED-INK AUTO AUTOGRAPH 27/69.

Time Left: 4d 16h 40m
$1,055.00 with 24 bids


1966 Topps Baseball Complete Set (598) w/ Jenkins Mantle Mays Clemente Rose Ford

Time Left: 1d 16h 51m
$1,032.77 with 18 bids


1984-85 Star Michael Jordan xrc #101 Graded by Beckett a Nm-Mt 8

Time Left: 6d 9h 28m
$1,026.00 with 4 bids


MICKEY MANTLE - 1951 BOWMAN - ROOKIE CARD - PSA AUTHENTIC - CENTERED REGRADE!!!

Time Left: 11h 33m
$1,025.00 with 25 bids


1948 Bowman Baseball Complete Set Of 48 Cards, kiner,rizzuto,berra,span,musial,

Time Left: 1d 6h 53m
$1,025.00 with 2 bids


2018 Topps Heritage High Number Ronald Acuna Jr Red Auto /69 Redemption

Time Left: 2d 12h 37m
$1,025.00 with 2 bids


1954 Bowman Ted Williams #66 SGC 6 Ex-Nm HIGH END CENTERED

Time Left: 4d 15h 7m
$1,025.00 with 14 bids