What do you get when you mix an old, abandoned warehouse in Detroit with baseball cards, a guy named Slanks and a British newspaper with a penchant for sexy headlines?
You get a fun little story that almost writes its own jokes.
It seems there are guys out there who will venture into those old buildings just to see what’s inside. They call themselves “urban explorers”. Detroit has no shortage of these long-forgotten structures and in recent weeks, an exploring duo discovered one such place had a massive quantity of baseball and other sports cards inside. Pallets, apparently untouched for more than 30 years, stacked with unopened cases and boxes of single cards, make for some tantalizing photos from a distance.
Unfortunately, it was not Sy Berger’s forgotten stash of 1952 Topps high numbers.
The cards, some in unopened cases, others in 5000 count monster boxes and many still shrink-wrapped on pallets, appear to date from the late 1980s and early 90s although it’s not possible to see everything.
The London Daily Mail somehow scored the story and sent a photographer to document this time capsule of overproduction era excess. It would appear as if the location was once used as a distribution center of some sort.
All sports seem to be represented with a layer of dust and dirt on top of them. There are thousands scattered on the floor and printers’ proof sheets of some sort (it’s hard to say what they are from the photos) just sort of hanging out in the stash.
If the monster boxes on those pallets carry cards from past years and the warehouse was abandoned in the 1990s, it’s possible there could be a few hidden gems but you’d be hunting for awhile.
In the story, which you can read here, The Daily Mail apparently opted to go for the “million dollar find” headline, oblivious to the true value, which would seem to be…well… a lot less than $1 million (Ontario Hockey League cards, anyone?). In fact, there are probably warehouses across North America with similar–if not bigger–hoards from the same time frame. We wrote The Mail a note telling them this wasn’t really a million dollar find but we haven’t heard back. Apparently that’s their story and they’re sticking to it.
Slanks told the paper he’s been exploring the contents of the warehouse and pulling out cards to sell on eBay, apparently finding enough of value to be his main source of income. There’s no word on exactly where it is, for obvious reasons.
And we have to admit, it would be fun to have a look through that little time capsule…just in case.