A long-abandoned crumpled paper bag recently discovered in the dilapidated home of a family’s deceased great-grandfather contained seven T206 Ty Cobb (with Ty Cobb back) baseball cards. The combined value of the seven cards is estimated at well into seven figures, according to Joe Orlando, president of PSA.
The cards are among the rarest of all 1909-11 T206 cards, even more so than the famed T206 Honus Wagner. This Cobb rarity can easily be differentiated from all other T206 cards by the back, which reads “TY COBB – KING OF THE SMOKING TOBACCO WORLD” in green ink.
Two of the now-PSA certified cards are ranked as No. 1 and No. 2 of the finest known of this variety, and all seven have been pedigreed as “The Lucky 7 Find” on each PSA label.
“There have been some spectacular finds over the years, such as the 1952 Topps baseball card find of 1986 and The Black Swamp Find of 1910 E98 cards found in 2012. As incredible as those were, and both were certainly larger in terms of sheer size, I am not sure if any other baseball card find is more remarkable than this new discovery,” Orlando said.
“Prior to this revelation, there were about 15 of these rare Ty Cobb cards known. This group of seven previously unknown Cobb cards raises the total to approximately 22 or so, which increases the population by around 50 percent. To put this in proper context from a scarcity standpoint, it would be the equivalent of finding 30 to 40 newly-discovered T206 Honus Wagner cards in one shot. It is simply miraculous,” exclaimed Orlando.
All seven cards have corner wear, creasing and surface wear typically found on the issue, often as a result of handling. However, Orlando says the combined eye appeal is sensational on the face of the cards, and the backs are very clean for this issue.
“As a result, each of the seven cards received a half-point grade ranging from PSA FR (Fair) 1.5 to VG-EX + 4.5. There were also four PSA Good + 2.5s and one PSA VG + 3.5. The PSA 3.5 and 4.5 now represent the two highest grades known in the marketplace,” Orlando said.
The owners of the cards have requested anonymity. After finding the cards among their great-grandfather’s possessions in a southern state, they contacted PSA Authorized Dealer Rick Snyder of MINT State Inc. in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He submitted the cards to PSA for certification on behalf of the family.
“My initial reaction (after getting a voicemail message from the family about the cards) was absolute skepticism. I doubted they were authentic because finding seven of these cards at one place at one time seemed almost impossible,” Snyder recalled.
After about a week of phone calls with the family and examining e-mailed photos of the cards, Snyder finally saw them in a person and was convinced they were authentic.
“I told the family, ‘I’m going to help change your life.’ This is a historic find. It is something every single individual whoever unearthed anything in their family’s basement or garage has dreamed about: finding something important and valuable,” Snyder said.
Orlando also was skeptical when he first learned about the cards’ discovery, and remained skeptical until the shipment arrived at PSA headquarters and he saw them with his own eyes.
“Our senior staff examined the cards. Due to the magnitude of the find I even had an outside expert come to our offices to examine the cards as well. They all shared the same assessment. No matter how improbable, each of the seven cards was undoubtedly authentic,” said Orlando.
“This is one of the greatest discoveries in the history of our hobby involving one of the greatest rarities in baseball cards from arguably the most popular baseball card set ever produced,” stated Orlando.
Additional information about the cards and their discovery can be found at www.PSAcard.com/Lucky7.