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New Cable Show Will Feature Rare Card Find

Accidental Fortune will show us those who’ve done what the rest of us dream of–find rare and valuable items there for the taking.

A new network television show will debut next week, highlighting those great finds we all dream of. "Accidental Fortune" premiers on The Learning Channel (TLC) next Wednesday.

The show will tell the stories of average citizens who find extraordinary and valuable items in ordinary places. The show premiers at 10 PM Eastern time, but will run again in the days that follow.

One segment on that first show will spotlight an 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings card that was taken from storage inside a Fresno, CA antique and collectibles store last year. The card was placed on eBay by the shop’s owner, Bernice Gallego who was unaware of the card’s scarcity and potential value as one of the first baseball cards ever issued. She said she’d have been happy if someone had paid her the $9.99 minimum bid, but Gallego quickly discovered it was worth much more when emails from excited collectors ready to make offers began reaching her mailbox.

Bernice Gallego and the 1869 Peck and Snyder card

Those emails led her to remove the item from eBay as she sought help from others to help find out what the card might actually be worth. Eventually she asked for help from vintage trading card specialist Memory Lane Inc, which agreed to put it up for auction in a special one-card only event and led to Gallego’s appearance on the Tonight Show where she told the story of her find.

The Peck & Snyder card attracted intense interest and was sold through Memory Lane for $75,000–quite a bit more than Bernice Gallego thought it might fetch when she took it out of a forgotten box in the store.

There are only a small number of the Peck & Snyder cards still in existence and they are in high demand with collectors of vintage baseball cards because they depict the first professional franchise in baseball history. While exact details aren’t known, it’s strongly believed the cards were issued as a promotion or advertisement by Peck & Snyder, an early sporting goods company that sold baseball equipment. The card features a team photo of the 1869 Red Stockings.