Ty Cobb, the Hall of Famer and Detroit Tigers center fielder known as “the Georgia Peach,” remains a legendary name more than five decades after his death.
After all, he was baseball’s all-time hits leader for nearly 60 years, an American League batting champion nine straight times, and retired in 1928 with a lifetime batting average of .366, a mark that will almost certainly never be broken. Cobb was also widely considered to be an egomaniac and so it would no doubt please him to know his name is back in the news.
On Tuesday evening, the “miraculous” discovery of seven extremely rare Ty Cobb baseball cards was reported. The cards, get this, were found in an old paper bag in an attic by a family sifting through their deceased great-grandfather’s belongings in his dilapidated house. They were brought to Rick Snyder, a South Carolina dealer who was initially skeptical of the family’s claims.
“I doubted they were authentic because finding seven of these cards at one place at one time seemed almost impossible,” he told the AP.
They were next inspected by Joe Orlando, a collectibles expert, who appraised them, praised them, and explained just how rare they are:
As of February 2016, there were about 15 of these great rarities known … these cards have sold in excess of $150,000 in the past, making the card one of the most valuable cards—pound-for-pound—in the entire hobby.
Orlando concludes: “Seven cards worth well into seven figures … all found at the bottom of great grandpa’s old paper bag.”
The cards, which were from Cobb’s best years (1909-1911) and which were initially sold in packages with tobacco, read: “Ty Cobb—King of the Smoking Tobacco World” on the back. The cards are said to be in particularly good condition, given their age. The family who found the cards has chosen to remain anonymous.