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Baseball cards found in Ohio attic sell for $566,000

Aug 3, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

stack of money

Last month we had a post about the remarkably pristine collection of early 1900s baseball cards discovered in an Ohio attic, which experts speculated could fetch as much as $3 million.

The first batch of those cards was auctioned off last night at the annual National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore and a 37-card lot sold for $566,132, including $239,000 for the Honus Wagner card pictured below.


As a kid I attended the National Sports Collectors Convention with my dad a handful of times and it’s a pretty amazing event for anyone into card collecting, so I can only imagine the scene there as “gem mint” 1910 cards of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Cy Young were drawing bids for a half-million dollars.

In all there are 700 cards, nearly all of them in perfect condition, and the Associated Press reports that “Heritage Auctions plans to sell most of the Ohio cards over the next two of three years through auctions.” And the money will be split 20 ways among members of the Hench family in Defiance, Ohio.

  1. keithbangedyermom - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    That’s a great haul, but ten years ago it would have been worth 3m easily. People don’t collect cards like they used to. its a dying hobby.

    • 1baseballfan - Aug 3, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      It’s only a “dying hobby” insofar as the economy is dying. Many collectables have diminished in market value since 2007. When the economy comes back so will they.

      • mybrunoblog - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        Maybe this is the new economy.
        As for the baseball cards they may very well get their 3 million$…they only sold part of the collection. Obviously they don’t want to flood the market so they are being smart. Sell he cards little by little over the next few years.

  2. pkswally024 - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:07 AM


  3. thefalcon123 - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    I collected about 9,000 baseball Cards between the years of 1988 and 1995. Now, the cynics out there say that this was the time when baseball cards were over-produced and that all these cards will never be worth anything…

    …but I say my 1988 Topps Danny Tartabull will fetch at least 2 bits by the next decade I do.

  4. ningenito78 - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    A family selling off a dead family member’s baseball card collection in DEFIANCE, Ohio. That’s just awesome.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 3, 2012 at 11:42 AM

      I hear you ningenito. But this is sort of a different story. You should check it out.
      In a nutshell…
      The family’s Great Grandfather (or possibly Uncle I can’t remember) was a Butcher and he used to get these Cards from his vendors. He didn’t know what he had…or what to do with them.
      He essentially stored them away and forgot all about them.
      After is Daughter died they cleaned out the house…and…baseball card heaven.

      • jimeejohnson - Aug 3, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Ever watch Antiques Roadshow? People discover that some of their forgotten about possessions are worth a small fortune. Baseball card collecting is as American as apple pie. You gotta love it.

  5. tcostant - Aug 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    What: $239,000 for the Honus Wagner.

    If I know I could have gotten a Honus Wagner for less the a quarter of a million, I would have bid. What a bargin.

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 3, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      If I know I could have gotten a Honus Wagner for less than a quarter of a million, I would ask would mug you for that money and then bid. Failing that, ask if they’d except a trade in of a 2007 Subaru with a mysterious check engine light issue.

  6. mqcarpenter - Aug 3, 2012 at 7:36 PM

    This is a fantastic story. A first for this blog!

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