Karl Kissner of Ohio didn’t consider the possibility that the hundreds of cards he found bundled in a dusty box under a dollhouse in the attic of his ancestral home could be as valuable as a masterpiece by one of the great artists, so he let them sit on a dresser as he went back to cleaning.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that he learned that what he had come across was one of the biggest and most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting.
A discovery that might be worth millions.
Cards bearing some familiar names began to pop up when he went through them. Names like Ty Cobb, Cy Young, and Honus Wagner. To the uninitiated, all three of those guys are Hall of Famers, and Wagner happens to be the guy on the most rare and expensive baseball card ever sold, at least at public auction.
The cards are from an extremely rare series issued around 1910. There were only a handful known to be in existence, all of which were in terrible to mediocre condition. The ones in Kissner’s attic were pristine, apparently untouched since someone wrapped them up in twine over a hundred years ago.
"It's like finding the Mona Lisa in the attic," Kissner said.
Sports card experts were brought in to authenticate the find and were understandably awed by what they saw.
"Every future find will ultimately be compared to this," said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator.
The most valuable of the lot is a series of 37 cards expected to sell for $500,000 in August during the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore. The entire find totals over 700 cards that could sell for as much as $3 million dollars, according to experts.
Remember that next time you’re considering throwing out any kind of collectible. You may be putting future generations of your family into the money if you just store them in the attic instead!