Described in an Associated Press story as “one of the biggest, most exciting finds in the history of sports card collecting,” about 700 cards from a series made around 1910 were found. Names such as Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Christy Mathewson. And the most remarkable thing about the cards: Their great condition. In total, the find could be worth $3 million. And that could be conservative.
Wagner’s name alone is a monster among collecting enthusiasts, mostly because he refused to be associated with the chewing tobacco companies that usually produced baseball cards at that time he played. Different cards of his from around the same time have recently sold for $2.8 million and $1.2 million, respectively. The Wagner card pictured above was graded a 10 — an unheard-of score. The cards in Hench’s attic were from the mysterious E98 series, which has an unknown manufacturer. It should only add to the allure.
An auction for the Wagner card is live right now and continues into August. The bidding already has surpassed $55,000. Six months ago, nobody alive knew it even existed.
Hench died in the 1940s and one of his daughters lived in the house until her death in October. Karl Kissner, the youngest among Jean Hench’s 20 nieces and nephews, was put in charge of her estate.