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Ohio attic yields millions of dollars in baseball cards

Jul 10, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Honus Wagner E98 AP

20 members of a family in Ohio are thrilled Aunt Jean was a packrat. Among the many boxes uncovered in an attic in an old Defiance home was 700 century-old baseball cards worth about $3 million, at least in the opinion of one expert.

The manufacturer and the exact date of the cards is unclear, but the cards are members of the E98 series from around 1910, according to PSA. The authenticators had dealt with fewer than 700 E98s previously in all of their years of grading cards. Now one find has yielded more more than that total, including a PSA 10 Honus Wagner and 16 PSA 9 Ty Cobb’s.

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

Karl Kissner has control of the cards now. He believes they belonged to his grandfather, Carl Hench, who ran a meat market in Defiance and could have gotten them as promotional items. The plan is for the cards to go to auction, with 20 cousins in the Hench family splitting the proceeds.

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  1. savior72 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    I’m going to check my attic right now!

  2. braddavery - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    AMAZING story. That PSA 10 looks like it just came off the press. Truly remarkable for a 100+ year old card.

  3. sportfan23 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:20 PM

    Holy shit!

  4. canucks18 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:34 PM

    What an awesome story!!! This is the reason I held onto all of those Kelly Gruber cards from when I was a kid…! Can’t wait to see the look on my grand kids face when he finds out that the collection I leave behind is worth… A laugh!!!
    Just kidding. I’m a proud Blue Jays fan who just finished watching the Jays championship years on film

  5. randygnyc - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    This is an incredible story. Besides their current value, it’s amazing they went undisturbed and maintained their extraordinary condition for more than a century. The key here was that they were received initially by an adult as opposed to children, bypassing the usual stages of abuse most collectibles endure during their initial phase of ownership.

  6. samu0034 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Gee whiz, that’s an awesome story. Kinda makes my day for some reason.

  7. heatwave954 - Jul 10, 2012 at 6:56 PM

    The Wagner should be a 9. It’s slightly over graded

    • cleverbob - Jul 10, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      Please. It’s clearly blue chip who’s your daddy gem mint ten!

  8. drunkenhooliganism - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:25 PM

    I was up in my father’s attic a few weeks ago. The house was previously owned by a guy who owned a candy store from like 1920-1960. Big potential for some old cards or cool memorabilia up there.

    I found a fucking dead squirrel.

    • deadeyedesign23 - Jul 10, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      How was the squirrel graded? You know condition is everything with these sorts of things.

    • wihalofan - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:58 PM

      At least it was f*cking.

  9. badintent - Jul 10, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    @drunkenhooliganism

    Damn man, I thought you were gonna find a soccer ball , some 1776 Guinness and some KIM K cards.

  10. hojo20 - Jul 10, 2012 at 10:29 PM

    When my Dad died I went up in the attic and there was only porno. Unfortunately no Honus Wagner cards.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      that doesnt sound so bad

  11. Loose Changeup - Jul 11, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    I bought a 125 year old house and all I found in the attic was some extra floorboards and knob-and-tube wiring.

  12. gmsingh - Jul 11, 2012 at 8:31 AM

    Even when catching a baseball Ty Cobb looks like a b*stard.

  13. stlouis1baseball - Jul 11, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    I saw this on the news this morning. Wonderful story.
    The family is geeked (as you would imagine).
    Works out to right at $150,000.00 per person…assuming they are splitting it evenly.

  14. shea801 - Jul 11, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I bet Ty Cobb hated “Black” Swamp.

    Probably didn’t refer to it by that name…..

    Yet he’s in the HOF and Pete Rose isn’t. F***ing ludacrous

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