A woman got the shock of her life on Antiques Roadshow when she realized just how much a family heirloom was worth. The heirloom was a set of antique baseball cards and a letter that the lady, Gale, had inherited from her grandfather. Her grandfather had the baseball cards and letter because the players used to stay at his mom’s boarding house when they were in Boston.
Sports memorabilia expert Leila Dunbar appraised the collection at $1 million. She said the cards were truly rare. They were some of the first baseball cards to ever be printed right at the beginning of the professional baseball league. The cards in Gale’s collection featured players from the first professional baseball team, the most notable of which were Harry Wright and George Spalding.
According to Wikipedia, Wright is a baseball legend because he managed and organized the Cincinnati Red Stockings as the first professional baseball team. When Wright left the Cincinnati Red Stockings to start a team in Boston, he brought some of the players from the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The current Boston Red Sox team gets its name from that team. Spalding is a prominent figure in baseball history because he was the first player to wear a fielding glove, Dunbar said on Antiques Roadshow. He also started the Spalding sporting goods empire.
In an after-show interview, Gale said the value still hadn’t sunk in. She said she was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan. She found the collection sitting in a drawer when she was a younger and decided to keep it. She said one man offered to buy it from her, but someone told her to hang on to it because it was probably worth more than the man was paying. Now that she knows the collection’s true value, Gale said she will try to keep it in the family, though it’ll be difficult because of its value.