That dusty old box of letters and photos that your great-grandmother gave you could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A Boston woman found that out when she brought a box of baseball memorabilia to PBS’ Antiques Roadshow to be appraised, and found that it’s worth around a million dollars, MSN is reporting.
The woman, whose name is not being revealed due to security concerns, brought a box to a taping of the show in New York. She had inherited the box from her great-great-grandmother, who had run a boarding house in Boston where players from the Boston Braves (the franchise now known as the Atlanta Braves) had lived in the 1870’s. There, an appraiser valued it at a million dollars for insurance purposes.
It’s the largest sports memorabilia find in the show’s 19-year history, according to The Christian Science Monitor, and one of the largest finds of any kind on the show. According to The Richest, the most valuable finds in Antiques Roadshow’s history (as of this post) are a set of jade bowls from China’s Qianlong Period, worth $1 million, and a set of rhinoceros horn teacups worth $1.5 million.
Antiques Roadshow appraiser Leila Dunbar says the “crown jewel” of the find is a letter to the boarding house matron, praising her cooking. The letter includes the signatures of three future Baseball Hall of Fame members: brothers Harry and George Wright; and Albert Spalding, who went on to develop a sporting goods empire after his baseball career.
Other items in the trove included rare baseball cards, and items containing other signatures, all from Boston Braves players.
The market for baseball cards is a shadow of its former glory days, according to The Motley Fool, but exceptionally-rare cards in perfect condition can still fetch hundreds of thousands of dollars. In 2012 a family in Defiance, Ohio found an old box of baseball cards in the attic – a collection which was later sold at an auction for over $500,000 (see this Inquisitr article). In 2013, a rare 1865 baseball card purchased at a garage sale was valued at six figures (see this Inquisitr article). And a Honus Wagner baseball card (the most valuable single baseball card) sold at auction in 2013 for a record $2.1 million (Inquisitr).
The woman had never had her collection valued before, but had once been offered $5,000 for it. It is unclear, as of this post, if she plans to sell.
The episode is scheduled to air on Antiques Roadshow, on PBS, in 2015.
Have you ever had baseball memorabilia, or anything else, appraised on Antiques Roadshow? Tell us in the Comments.
Image courtesy of: Providence Journal