If there was such a thing as a baseball lottery, this might very well be the top prize. In Defiance, Ohio, a man in his 50’s is put in charge of his dead aunt’s estate after she died. The dear lady was a bit of a pack-rat – kept EVERYTHING – which it appears was a trait she inherited from her father. Carl Hench ran a meat market before he died in the 1940’s. Apparently, in 1910, he received a promotional set of baseball cards which he apparently put away, never to be seen again – well not for 100 years or so anyway.
What’s amazing is that they were found in the attic of his home where they’d been for who knows how long in near-perfect condition! His grandson, Karl Kissner, found them in a metal box under an old dollhouse in the process of sorting through everything collected and kept by his aunt. It took him awhile to figure out exactly what he had and started going through the process to have them authenticated.
Included in the collection are several names you and I know well – Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Cy Young among many others. There are more than 700 cards total in a series that is called E98. All other known copies of Honus Wagner cards show obvious wear while this one is graded a 10 (as new). This is every collectors DREAM. The entire collection is expected to net the 20 grandchildren who are sharing the proceeds between 2 and 3 million dollars. The best 37 are expected to be sold at auction in Baltimore at the National Sports Collectors Convention on August 2nd so if you really want one of them (and have a LOT of liquid resources) you have the opportunity to add it to your own collection. The rest will be offered in small batches over the next few years in order to avoid flooding the market.
Something like this makes me wonder… given my own pack-rat-like tendencies, I wonder what might happen to my husband’s collection of 1991 Twins and other baseball cards that we just recently reacquired. Our grandkids might be very, very lucky. Isn’t that what just about every little boy (or girl) dreams about when he starts collecting baseball cards?