Adam was freshly scrolling down his computer screen in ~ his home in northern new Jersey once he read a story around a household cleaning out their grandparents’ home in the rural South. They had actually unearthed eight super-rare Ty Cobb cards from about 1910.

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The very first seven cards, referred to as the “Lucky 7 Find,” were found in a document bag in 2016. The eighth was uncovered in the pages of one old book earlier this year. The an initial seven marketed for $3 million. The eighth, dubbed the tradition Find, is worth around $250,000.

Only 24 that the cards--which promote “Ty Cobb King that the cigarette smoking Tobacco World” top top the back--exist, do them three times rarer 보다 the top Honus Wagner.The Ty Cobb tobacco brand isbelieved to have been a test and premium product sold on a limited regional basis.

“Hey, the card looks familiar,” Adam, a 63-year old retired computer systems employee of IBM, claimed to himself. The was never a collector.

Adam went down to his basement come retrieve a binder through vinyl sleeves i beg your pardon housed his late father’s old card collection. ~ finding the Cobb, he took a pair of pictures. The card had a bright and also shiny red lift on the front and also Cobb brand tobacco on the back.

He sent the photos come Leighton Sheldon in adjacent Somerset, new Jersey because that an appraisal. Sheldon is the chairman of simply Collect and also an amicable impresario of significant baseball card finds.

The Ty Cobb tins real estate his regional, premium brand of tobacco market for $10,000.

photograph by Robert Edward Auction

“Hi, I think that I have actually one that those cards, but it’s no in an excellent shape," he told Sheldon . “Can you provide me an idea the what that worth?”

Sheldon decreased to offer an estimate due to the fact that the photos were blurry and he didn’t desire to unduly progressive Adam’s hopes.

But Sheldon had seen enough to it is in interested and also invited Adam tohis office. Adam walked in his v father’s binderfilled through T206s tobacco cards indigenous 1910 which included Christy Mathewson and also less an important strip cards of Babe Ruth from the 1920s, for this reason named due to the fact that they were published in strips.

“Ty Cobb to be on the very first page that a nine-pocket sheet,” Sheldon said. “Just obtaining it the end was a real chore.” Sheldon and his team were details that it was the actual deal. They shipped it come PSA. The top grading agency authenticated it and also assigned a class of 1 (on a range of one come 10). Also in poor condition, Adam’s Cobb books for around $100,000.

“There room very couple of cards worth as much as the Cobb lb for pound, except the Wagner,” said Rick Snyder the owner the MINT State, a PSA-authorized map dealer, who handled the lucky 7 and also Legacy Find.

He cited the PSA 9 mint 1952 Topps MIckey Mantle which recently sold for $2.9 million. A PSA 3 goes for around $19,000. A Cobb in the condition: $350,000.

Sheldon offered Adam the an option of marketing his Cobb top top consignment or outright. He determined the latter, and also will offer the money to his two children, he told me.

Adam has owned the collection due to the fact that his dad’s death 20 years ago. His father, born in 1919, received it as a gift from his older brothers at some suggest when they to be teenagers.

The Ty Cobb tobacco brand is believed to have been marketed in the South, most likely in Georgia whereby the room of fame “Georgia Peach” compliment from. The happy 7 and Legacy finds originated in the deep South. Maybe Adam’s arsenal came from his grandfather who was a huge smoker, back he never left Bellville, new Jersey. The mystery will never ever be solved.

Just for fun, yesterday i asked Snyder what the odds were of one more Cobb surfacing before breaking the news to him about Adam’s Cobb.

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His response proved eerily prophetic: “I am persuaded that over there are more Cobbs the end there. There are collections unknown come the hobby because they were put together a long time ago. The owners may have been sitting on the collections for numerous years before they saw the kids or grandchildren. I think that we’ll see more of these types of finds.”

Meanwhile, Adam and Sheldon are happy to have made understand history.


I’ve created on the sports collectibles market for 30 years for such publications as Time and Sports Illustrated and have to be quoted together an authority almost everywhere from abc to The new York Times. My attention in sports and also its collectibles is life-long: I deserve to still mental the boyhood thrill of opened packs and also discovering a Willie Mays or Tom Seaver card. My career in newspaper journalism has contained long stints at Audubon, Time, and The brand-new Republic in your heydays. When serving as the editor-in-chief that Audubon for 13 years, i was a five-time national Magazine award finalist, including three nominations for basic excellence, the tantamount of an Oscar for ideal Picture. (I to be a nationwide Magazine award judge and also screener because that 15 consecutive years.) ns the writer of 2 books, the award-winning Showdown in ~ Opal Creek and The new Republic: A Voice of modern-day Liberalism, both favorably the review in The brand-new York Times. My second book played a pivotal duty in conserving an endangered old forest in Oregon. My articles and also essays have showed up in The brand-new York Times, London times Literary Supplement, London Independent, Los Angeles Times, Atlas Obscura, and many various other publications.