Skip to comments.Michigan Family Discovers Rarest Football Card Collection in History
Posted on 03/11/2012 1:26:23 PM PDT by nickcarraway
A Michigan family was cleaning out an old farmhouse and accidentally stumbled across a long-sought after collection of football cards worth thousands of dollars and considered perhaps the rarest such collection in history. The set is highlighted by an "anonymous" card of former Harvard football player John Dunlop, which was first issued in 1894.
The Dunlop card alone is reportedly worth $10,000, according to Lou Brown, president of Legends Sports and Games. "If it was in the right condition, it could be worth up to $60,000," Brown told Yahoo! News in a phone interview.
"We get a lot of calls from a lot of people saying they've got something, and usually it's not what you expect," Brown tells local affiliate Fox11. But Brown says this set is something different entierly. "It's the 'Holy Grail' of football cards," he tells Fox11. The Dunlop card, created by the Mayo Tobocco Works of Richmond Virginia, is called "anonymous" because it did not actually feature Dunlop's name. The entire set is considered the rarest football set in history.
Brown tells Yahoo! News that the Dunlop card is being put up for sale by the Robert Edward Auctions this May. There are only 10 Dunlop cards known to still exist, with some valued as high as $18,000. The entire collection is the first ever to dedicated to football players. And since there was no NFL at the time, the set focused entirely on the nation's 35 best Ivy League college players, according to the site FootballCardShop.com. You can view some of the other rare cards from the collection here.
The family also discovered several rare boxing cards, first issued by the same tobacco company in 1890. "I was hoping there might be some baseball cards in there too," Brown, who has been trading cards professionally
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Who knows how many thousands/hundreds-of-thousands of dollars worth of now-rare baseball & football cards (w/ clothes pins to fasten them on to fender bars) we used in the spokes of our 24” Schwin “Huffy” bikes as kids, just to make them “sound like motorcycles”? Who knew?
Okay, we were kids and didn’t know any better. 20-20 hindsight...
Bill would give each African-American a 'barn' with a hidden $100,000 treasure
Black Caucus' "Discovered Treasure" Bill
"Blacks couldn't own anything until 1965. How could we ever have something like this happen?"
Heh. I didn't collect baseball cards, so I used Mom's and Dad's pinochle cards. Which seemed to work just fine till their night to host pinochle club.
Bought a house a few years back and discovered a Buster Brown shoebox in the attic stuffed with mostly football and basketball cards from ‘71 thru ‘73. It contained 6 Roger Staubach rookies, all in great shape but only one with descent picture centering. A lot of good rookie cards from the ‘72 football set. Also scored an almost complete set of basketball cards, including the Dr. J rookie in beautiful shape.
And yes, I tore up a few cards in my Schwinn Stingray as well. But a quick little story along those lines... A buddy of mine has a son who, a few years back, was graduating high school and heading off to college. My buddy’s mother went out and bought a study desk set (desk mat, lamp and matching trashcan, etc...) for her grandson’s graduation. As a bonus, she dug out some of my friend’s old baseball cards she found in the attic and glued them to the lamp shade and trash can and added a nice clear coat finish, wrapped everything up and tied a nice bow.
When his son opened his present, my buddy’s jaw dropped. It was a mix of ‘67 thru ‘70 Topps cards. A few days later, he picked up a Beckett’s Guide and grabbed a calculator. LOL! His son was now the proud owner of a $3500 lamp shade and a $2800 waste basket complete with a couple of Tom Seaver rookies and a Nolan Ryan rookie. Other rookies were Johnny Bench and Reggie Jackson. Also making the waste basket memorial were veterens Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and a virtual who’s who collection of Hall of Famers. He didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.... BUT, a couple of years ago, he took possession of the desk set and displays it in his home office. ;-)
Hey, thats my old family farm, it belongs to me...unless its your old family farm.....GG
Wow, what a story, H!
I had 2 late uncles’ cards packed-full in 15-16 shoeboxes, with 50s & 60s baseball and football cards. I remember only a few of the names: Johnny Unitas, Big Daddy Lipscomb, LG DuPre, Gino Marchetti, Paul Brown, George Blanda, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo... there were so many thousands of cards, it’s impossible to remember so many. 1-2-3 of every one. I swear that some of them smelled like “bubblegum”... can’t remember the name of that flat, pink gum either. Too much water under “the bridge”, now at 62.
From an Internet source: "[Blanda] was a collegiate and professional football quarterback and placekicker. ... [he] has the distinction of having played 26 seasons of Professional Football, the most in the sport's history, and had scored more points than anyone in history at the time of his retirement. Blanda retired from pro football in 1976. He was one of only three players to play in four different decades, and he holds the record for most extra points kicked."
I recall some ads he used to do.. How's it going, George? Well I can't kick he'd reply.
You’re right. He did play in 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s. What a long and storied career! I never liked the Raiders, though...
Did Dad have a ping pong paddle waiting for you, for that? I’d bet they had a spare deck hidden, somewhere. Yes?
He came across 12 baseball cards from the 50's in a frame.
Two of them were of Ted Williams. Both between his service during WW2 and Korea.
I have my brother’s football cards somewhere, the only one I remember is Bart Starr?
Ha! That’s what your buddy gets for cluttering his mom’s attic with his stuff. :)
A Mom who’s suffered thus
Cards like that (Bart Starr, etc...) may not fetch too much money unless they are “Rookie Cards” or there’s some other interesting story to them, but I have taken similar cards of some Hall of Famers (Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, Sonny Jurgenson, etc...) that I have and then I go find a Sports Illustrated cover (or some other magazine) with said Hall of Famer and get a little creative with the matting and frame them together for the man cave. They make for a good conversation piece and it’s better than leaving them in a box in a storage closet. I’ve even sold a few. :-)
Probably, but I suspect Dad just poured a bit more vodka into everyone's Martini and the card game's importance just faded away.
...and comic books. In the little town I grew up in, I had an uncle who owned a small magazine and book store who sold comics too. Starting around 1956, I bought every 5 and 10 cent sci-fi comic book that came out. X-men, Iron Man,.....etc....I had them all. Of course when I outgrew them in my teens, I threw them away.
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