Found: Seven Incredibly Rare Ty Cobb Baseball Cards - Atlas Obscura
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Found: Seven Incredibly Rare Ty Cobb Baseball Cards

The family that found them almost threw them away.

Ty (Photo: Library of Congress/LC-DIG-npcc-19121)

Seven baseball cards, dating from 1909 to 1911, were found squirreled away in a paper bag, left among postcards and other papers. 

On their face, they show Ty Cobb, one of the best baseball players in history; on their back, they call him “Ty Cobb - King of the Smoking Tobacco World.” Up until now, only 15 of these cards were known to still exist. Family members searching through their great-grandparents’ attic found the seven newly discovered ones.

Initially, the family (which has asked that their name not be revealed) intended to throw away the paper bag full of old slips of paper, but one of them decided to look through the pile. The cards found in that bag could be worth more than a million dollars.

The cards are in good condition, for pieces of paper more than 100 years old. Their corners and surfaces are worn, and some are creased. But cards of this type, judged to be in the poorest condition a baseball card can be in, are still said to be worth at least $150,000. 

Joe Orlando, the expert who helped authenticate the card, said that there may never have been a baseball card find “more remarkable.”

“Undiscovered treasure is still buried out there,” he wrote.

Bonus finds: An ancient bison bonea photo that may include Vincent van Goghcrazy space radio blast

Every day, we highlight one newly found object, curiosity or wonder. Discover something unusual or amazing? Tell us about it! Send your finds to sarah.laskow@atlasobscura.com.