PDA

View Full Version : Family finds an unexpected and amazing Americana treasure in grandpa's belongings



Hubie
07-16-2012, 01:16 AM
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/162028195.html?cmpid=15585797


Karl Kissner picked up a soot-covered cardboard box that had been under a wooden dollhouse in his grandfather's attic. Taking a look inside, he saw hundreds of baseball cards bundled with twine. They were smaller than the ones he was used to seeing.

But some of the names were familiar: Hall of Famers Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.

Then he put the box on a dresser and went back to digging through the attic.

It wasn't until two weeks later that he learned that his family had come across what experts say is one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting, a discovery worth perhaps millions.

The cards are from an extremely rare series issued around 1910. Up to now, the few known to exist were in so-so condition at best, with faded images and worn edges. But the ones from the attic in the town of Defiance are nearly pristine, untouched for more than a century. The colors are vibrant, the borders crisp and white.

"It's like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic," Kissner said.

Sports card experts who authenticated the find say they may never again see something this impressive.

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

The best of the bunch , 37 cards , are expected to bring a total of $500,000 when they are sold at auction in August during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. There are about 700 cards in all that could be worth up to $3 million, experts say. They include such legends as Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack.

Kissner and his family say the cards belonged to their grandfather, Carl Hench, who died in the 1940s. Hench ran a meat market in Defiance, and the family suspects he got them as a promotional item from a candy company that distributed them with caramels. They think he gave some away and kept others.

"We guess he stuck them in the attic and forgot about them," Kissner said. "They remained there frozen in time."

This is just a win for everyone. The family gets a nice windfall, collectors get to have some fun, and America gets a wonderful glimpse of a much-forgotten period of time when baseball was king.

noonwitch
07-16-2012, 08:50 AM
My dad's got a bunch of baseball cards from the 30s and 40s, along with some from the 50s and 60s, too. They might be worth something. He also has a bunch of Liberty silver dollars.

I hope he has this stuff secured in a safe, somewhere, since he now lives in Florida.

Zathras
07-16-2012, 10:34 AM
My dad's got a bunch of baseball cards from the 30s and 40s, along with some from the 50s and 60s, too. They might be worth something. He also has a bunch of Liberty silver dollars.

I hope he has this stuff secured in a safe, somewhere, since he now lives in Florida.

You might want to talk to him about it and get those cards looked at by someone to see if they're worth anything. If they are then lock them up.

noonwitch
07-16-2012, 11:48 AM
You might want to talk to him about it and get those cards looked at by someone to see if they're worth anything. If they are then lock them up.


If they are worth anything, my dad has already had them assessed, insured and secured.


5 years ago, he called me up and asked me if I needed any china. I told him "I have dishes, but what are you giving away". When my parents divorced, my mom took the formal china and let him take the Blue Willow, which is what he was offering me. I said, well, I can make room for Spode BW and made a comment about how much antique dealers would pay for it. He said "well, you said you have dishes, so I guess you don't need these". I never heard about them again.

NJCardFan
07-16-2012, 12:33 PM
You might want to talk to him about it and get those cards looked at by someone to see if they're worth anything. If they are then lock them up.

Just take them to that pawn shop in Vegas that's on Pawn Stars and Rick will have a buddy of his look at them:

http://i.qkme.me/3594qj.jpg

Odysseus
07-16-2012, 01:03 PM
Around the time that I was born, my father was offered a bunch of baseball cards by a printer. The guy was cleaning out his shop and he had been one of the printers for Topps since they had been in the business. In addition to the regular cards, he had uncut sheets of cards going back decades. My dad, not knowing any better, turned him down. They ended up trashed. I used to think of that a lot when I was a starving freelancer...:livid:

Chuck58
07-16-2012, 01:46 PM
We moved to New Mexico when I was about nine, so that would have been in the mid '50's (yeah, I'm old).

In my bedroom closet upstairs in the 2 story house we lived in, there was access to the crawlspace along the eaves of the house. I stashed my treasured stack of about 100 or so baseball cards. Being a kid, I guess I figured that some day I'd come back and retrieve them, along with the huge bag of marbles and a nearly new electric football game that I hid there.

I can't remember many of the cards, except that I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan then, so some would be Brooklyn. I doubt any of those cards would be worth much but, assuming that treasure trove has never been found, they're probably still there along with the big bag of marbles of all kinds and the football game.

Zathras
07-16-2012, 02:32 PM
I've got 3 boxes of comics from the mid 70's that I collected. I'm half tempted to pull them out of storage and see if there's any good ones in there.

Odysseus
07-16-2012, 03:37 PM
We moved to New Mexico when I was about nine, so that would have been in the mid '50's (yeah, I'm old).

In my bedroom closet upstairs in the 2 story house we lived in, there was access to the crawlspace along the eaves of the house. I stashed my treasured stack of about 100 or so baseball cards. Being a kid, I guess I figured that some day I'd come back and retrieve them, along with the huge bag of marbles and a nearly new electric football game that I hid there.

I can't remember many of the cards, except that I was a Brooklyn Dodger fan then, so some would be Brooklyn. I doubt any of those cards would be worth much but, assuming that treasure trove has never been found, they're probably still there along with the big bag of marbles of all kinds and the football game.

Sounds like the plot of a movie. You have to go back to that house and find that stash of cards and stuff, since you just remembered the value of the Jackie Robinson rookie card, while evading the locals and the law. Or, you can just knock on the door and tell them that you used to live there and that you left something in the crawlspace, and if you wear the right clown makeup, I'm sure that they'll be too freaked out to keep you from looking. :evil-grin:


I've got 3 boxes of comics from the mid 70's that I collected. I'm half tempted to pull them out of storage and see if there's any good ones in there.

There could be some valuable ones in there. The height of the market was about 1994, but you could still make some bucks.

Hubie
07-16-2012, 04:57 PM
Just take them to that pawn shop in Vegas that's on Pawn Stars and Rick will have a buddy of his look at them:

And get your ass ripped off 6 ways from Sunday.

Chuck58
07-16-2012, 11:51 PM
Sounds like the plot of a movie. You have to go back to that house and find that stash of cards and stuff, since you just remembered the value of the Jackie Robinson rookie card, while evading the locals and the law. Or, you can just knock on the door and tell them that you used to live there and that you left something in the crawlspace, and if you wear the right clown makeup, I'm sure that they'll be too freaked out to keep you from looking. :evil-grin:



There could be some valuable ones in there. The height of the market was about 1994, but you could still make some bucks.

My sister went back a few years ago, took pictures of the house and walked the neighborhood. The people who own it now saw her, asked what she was doing and ended up inviting her in to look around. Wish I'd known. I'd have had her check to see if there was still access to the crawlspace - not that I'd have asked her to go in.

I have no desire to go back. Getting out of that place was a blessing. Hell, I might be a liberal today if we'd stayed.