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

 

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1959 Topps Bob Gibson ROOKIE RC #514 SGC 9 MINT (PWCC)

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1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle PSA 2 

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1958 Topps Roberto Clemente YELLOW LETTERS #52 PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ (PWCC)

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1990 Topps Glossy George Bush YALE #USA1 BGS 9 MINT (PWCC)

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1962 Topps Willie Mays #300 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC-PQ)

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1970-80 Topps Mid-Grade COMPLETE SET Jackson Bench Mays Clemente Munson (PWCC)

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1974 Topps Hi-Grade MASTER COMPLETE PSA SET Ryan Rose Aaron Winfield RC (PWCC)

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1959 Topps Mid-Hi Grd COMPLETE SET Mantle Clemente Aaron Mays Gibson, PSA (PWCC)

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1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Yankees RC Rookie HOF PSA 3 " LOOKS NICER "

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1996 Select Certified Mirror Blue Derek Jeter ROOKIE /45 #100 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC)

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

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1960 Topps Carl Yastrzemski ROOKIE RC #148 PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ (PWCC)

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1952 Topps #311 Mickey Mantle Yankees RC Rookie HOF PSA FANTATSTIC CENTEREING

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

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1951 Bowman #253 Mickey Mantle Yankees RC Rookie HOF PSA 5 (OC) " TOUGH CARD "

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

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1971 Topps Roberto Clemente #630 SGC 9 MINT (PWCC-HE)

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1974 Topps Mike Schmidt #283 PSA 10 GEM MINT (PWCC)

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1957 Topps Ernie Banks #55 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC)

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

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1910 E93 Standard Caramel Ty Cobb Tigers HOF PSA 6 EX-MT " SUPER RARE "

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2014 National Treasures Bat Knobs Ted Williams KNOB PATCH 1/1 #65 (PWCC)

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1956 Topps Mickey Mantle #135 PSA 7 NRMT (PWCC)

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1968 Topps Hi-Grade Partial Set (437 PSA) McCool Carty Pierce Houk Rojas (PWCC)

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1965 Topps Hank Aaron #170 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC-PQ)

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1959 Topps Mid-Grade COMPLETE SET Mantle Clemente Mays Aaron Gibson, PSA (PWCC)

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1952 Topps 261 Willie Mays PSA 6 - Price DROPPED from $7,500!

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1966 Topps Mickey Mantle #50 PSA 8.5 NM-MT+ (PWCC)

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1989 Topps Heads Up Baseball Test Issue Box Unopened BBCE Sealed ONLY 24 MADE

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1993 Upper Deck SP Foil Factory Sealed Hobby Box, Derek Jeter ROOKIE RC? (PWCC)

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1970 Topps Nolan Ryan #712 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC)

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1933 Goudey R319 Baseball Lot of 110 w/ Foxx Grimes Faber HoF - Poor to VG-EX

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2011 TOPPS UPDATE DIAMOND ANNIVERSARY MIKE TROUT PSA 10

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1962 Venezuela Topps Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays MANAGERS DREAM #18 PSA 4 (PWCC)

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1957 Topps Mickey Mantle #95 PSA 5.5 EX+ (PWCC)

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TY COBB 1907 Dietsche PostCards RARE ROOKIE CARD RC Detroit Tigers SGC 10 

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1956 Topps Mickey Mantle #135 PSA 6.5 EXMT+ (PWCC)

Time Left: 9m
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Time Left: 5d 1h 47m
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1960 Topps #350 Mickey Mantle New York Yankees HOF PSA 8 LOOKS UNDERGRADED

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

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1951 Bowman Near Complete Set (323/324) w/ Mays Berra Reese Irvin Williams Ford

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Time Left: 5d 1h 7m
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1967 Topps Roberto Clemente #400 PSA 9 MINT (PWCC-PQ)

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1968 Topps Hi-Grade COMPLETE SET Mays Clemente Mantle Banks Ryan RC, PSA (PWCC)

Time Left: 1d 1h 28m
$1,525.00 with 29 bids


1964 Topps Mickey Mantle #50 PSA 8 NM-MT (PWCC)

Time Left: 23h 56m
$1,480.00 with 26 bids


1955 Bowman #202 Mickey Mantle Yankees PSA 7 - NM HOF

Time Left: 8d 53m
$1,475.00 with 18 bids


1963 Topps Pete Rose ROOKIE RC #537 PSA 7.5 NRMT+ (PWCC)

Time Left: 23h 52m
$1,467.00 with 23 bids