Family that found 7 rare Ty Cobb baseball cards find another one

The T206 baseball card set, issued from 1909 to 1911, has been called “the Monster” by collectors. Two years ago, a family in a rural Southern town discovered seven rare Ty Cobb cards from that set while cleaning their great-grandfather’s house and sold them for nearly $3 million.

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Now, that family has made another monster discovery.

An eighth card of the Detroit Tigers’ Hall of Famer was found in another part of the great-grandfather’s house, and the family has decided to keep this one, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

“The family’s intent is to keep this latest addition as a memento,” according to Rick Snyder, owner of MINT State in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Snyder initially reviewed all eight cards before sending them to be graded, according to a news release from Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA). “It’s a family heirloom that reminds them of an event that changed their lives forever.”

The rarity of the card, which was originally included with packs of cigarettes during the first decade of the 20th century, is determined by the advertisement on the back. It reads “Ty Cobb King of the Smoking Tobacco World,” and before the “Lucky 7 Find” find two years ago, only 15 of these cards were known to have existed.

Another Cobb card, called “The Matchbox Cobb,” was discovered last year by a Georgia family. The family was cleaning out their father’s sock drawer when they found the Cobb card in a matchbox. The card was graded PSA 1 and sold in an SCP Auctions sale on Nov. 4, for $100,000.

The latest Cobb card discovery brings the overall total to 24. Like the others, this card was sent to PSA, the Newport Beach, California-based grading company said in a statement. A grade of PSA 2, or good, was assigned to the card. The Lucky 7 cards ranged in grade from PSA 1.5 to PSA 4.5, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

The family, which still wants to remain anonymous, found the original seven cards as they were cleaning their great-grandfather’s home. They were at the bottom of a rumpled, torn paper bag that was on the floor. When the family inspected the bag, they found old postcards and the seven Cobb cards, lying face down, Sports Collectors Daily reported.

PSA said the eighth card was discovered between two books inside an old, dusty box. The card was among clothing, eyeglasses, makeup and several tobacco tins.

“The initial discovery, it was a real shock to them,” PSA President Joe Orlando told The Associated Press. “They put the cleaning on hold for a while.

“Later, they knew what they were looking for, and in a dusty box between two books, there was another one,” said Orlando, whose company verified the new card and put a $250,000 value on it. “It falls under the category of ‘you can’t make this stuff up.’”

The T206 set contains 525 different cards with 16 tobacco-brand advertisement backs. This also contains a Honus Wagner card that is recognized as the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards.

The rare back of a Ty Cobb T206 card.
Photo: Professional Sports Authenticator

Family members released a statement through MINT State, calling the find “unbelievable.”

“We are incredibly blessed and grateful to have found another card,” the statement read. “This is unbelievable. We would have never thought this would happen once, much less twice. It is an incredible feeling.”

“This just goes to prove that buried treasure still exists in the collectibles world, even well above sea level,” Orlando said in a statement through PSA.

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