(AP) – The PBS series Antiques Roadshow says it hit a home run with a collection of 1870s Boston baseball memorabilia. A trove of signatures and rare baseball cards from Boston Red Stockings players was appraised at $1 million for insurance purposes, series producer Marsha Bemko said. It’s the largest sports memorabilia find in the history of the 19-year-old public TV show.
The collection was brought to an Antiques Roadshow taping Aug. 9 in New York City. The owner inherited it from her great-great-grandmother, who ran a Boston boarding house where the team lived in 1871-72, PBS said. The owner’s identity was kept private for security reasons.
According to Antiques Roadshow appraiser Leila Dunbar, the “crown jewel” of the items is a May 1871 letter to the Boston landlady that includes notes from three future Hall of Fame members: Albert Spalding, the future sporting good magnate, and brothers Harry and George Wright. The letter included the players’ appreciation for their host’s cooking. The taping was for shows that will air in 2015.