An 1865 Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card (originally considered a carte de viste or CDV) sold via Saco River Auction in Maine Wednesday night to a New Englander who said he was buying it in hopes of making a profit. The winning bid from Jason Leblanc was $80,000 but the buyer’s premium pushed the purchase price to $92,000.
The auction company said the card was located by an antique picker looking through an old photo album last year. He consigned it to the small auction company, which had recently sold another rare 19th century card for more than $72,000.
There is only one other known example of the card, which is a photograph of one of baseball’s first organized baseball teams. The other CDV is in the Library of Congress, although the card sold Wednesday night is printed from a different negative. Together, the user could have viewed them through a stereoscope, which presented a sort of 3-D image.
Leblanc, a financial consultant, indicated he had chosen to bid on the card because he believed it would appreciate in value enough to help with medical expenses for his four-year-old son, Alex, who suffers from a health issue that requires frequent medical care and hospitalization. The boy’s mother died when he was born and Leblanc attended the auction with his girlfriend.
He was the only person who attended the live auction, according to this story in the Portland Press-Herald, outbidding several others who were hooked into the auction by phone or online.