After his aunt died, Karl Kissner, was made executor of the estate. Kissner took time off from work in order to be able to take his time and carefully sort his aunt’s belongings by what the family would keep, give to Goodwill or just plain throw away. During his search, he came across a box that was covered in soot. He blew the soot away and looked inside the box and was shocked by what he found. Baseball cards.
Kissner was certain they were worth some money but he never would have guessed just how much. In the first place, the cards are in Mint condition, having never been played with and probably hidden in the attic for decades and secondly because the players are mostly Hall of Famers like Christy Matheson, Honus Wagner, Cy Young and Ty Cobb.
Professional appraisers sorted out the 37 best cards and placed a value of half a million dollars for them.
The family believes the cards were promotional and that their grandfather got them at his store and they were promotions for caramels. They think he gave some away and kept the rest. Selling the cards at a top auction house would cost them about a 30% commission.
Because of their incredible condition, it would be wise to spend the forty dollars apiece for a top grading service, which can raise the price of the cards by as much as 50%, depending on the scarcity. Wayne Grezky, the all time great hockey player bought a Honus Wagner card some 20 years ago for $400,000 dollars. That very same card sold for a record $2.8 million dollars. Another T206 Honus Wagner Jumbo broke that record when it was sold for $3.12 million.
That card is rare because Honus Wagner didn’t believe in smoking and insisted that the tobacco company quit putting his likeness in their promotional cards.