Talk about a hidden treasure!
On Saturday, Jan. 3, a woman brought her great-great-grandmother's rare baseball card collection to a taping of the PBS show Antiques Roadshow in NYC.
And, much to her surprise, the trove was appraised to be worth an astonishing $1 million!
The assortment of 'Boston Red Stockings' baseball cards and player autographs now holds the record for the largest and most expensive sports memorabilia collection in the public TV show's 19 year history, producer Marsha Bemko said.
(Photo Credit: R/R)
"It was just sitting in a desk drawer," the owner said of the artifacts from 1871 - 1872. "I ran across it one day and decided I'd like to have it, not realizing at all what it was worth."
Though the items had not been formally valued before the woman appeared on the show, she revealed she once received a $5,000 offer for the collection from an interested buyer.
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According to 'Antiques Roadshow' appraiser Leila Dunbar, the "crown jewel" of the collection is a May 1871 letter penned to the Boston team's landlord — the owner's great-great-grandmother — that includes notes from three future National Baseball Hall of Fame members: Albert Spalding and brothers Harry and George Wright.
"When you look at memorabilia and you value it, you look at the historical importance of the players, of the team, of the era, of the event. You also look at rarity, you look at condition, you look at provenance. And this has it all," Dunbar said on the show.
Despite the $1 million appraisal, the owner admitted she has no plans to sell the baseball heirlooms. "I'm hoping they'll stay in the family," she said.
'Antiques Roadshow' first reported this story.
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