A Family Found $1 Million Worth of Ty Cobb Baseball Cards in an Old Paper Bag

Mar 03, 2016

One man's trash is another man's treasure, they say.

A family, who have chosen to remain anonymous, discovered a neglected cache of baseball cards likely valued at more than $1 million in a deceased relative's home, the Associated Press reports. The cards feature Ty Cobb—aka "the Georgia Peach," a famed Detroit slugger.

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The cache apparently contains seven baseball cards worth seven figures in total. The identical prints date from the period between 1909 and 1911, and are from one of the most prized baseball card lots called T206, according to experts in Southern California who told the AP they had verified the cards' authenticity. (The "T" in T206 stands for "tobacco," since the cards were sold alongside American Tobacco Company products.)

Prior to the find, only 15 such cards were thought to be in existence, the AP reports. Hall of fame legend Cobb is depicted on their faces in front of a red background with a white border, and the backside bears the words "king of the smoking tobacco world" in green lettering.

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Experts who spoke to the AP variously described the finding as "spectacular," miraculous," "remarkable," "almost impossible," and "one of the greatest discoveries in our hobbies."

Members of the lucky family had apparently been rummaging through the effects of a late great-grandfather when they discovered the trove inside a crumpled paper bag, AP reports. A publicist who helped announce the finding revealed that they came from a southern state and first were brought to a dealer in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The cards are not in mint condition, and probably rate on a 1-10 scale—"1" being the worst, "10" the best—between 3.5 and 4.5, AP reports. That's pretty good for cards that are more than 100 years old.

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