A collection of old baseball cards has been freed after likely spending nearly a century inside the wall of a New Jersey home, discovered only after the current resident tried to rid the place of raccoons.
It’s not quite the Black Swamp Find, but still one for the hobby history books.
Rafeal Torres of Jersey City said the critters had gotten into his attic and in the process of trying to investigate, his cell phone fell into a space in the wall behind his daughter’s bedroom. As he cut a hole in the wall to get to the phone, little pieces of colored paper began falling into the room. He didn’t recognize what they could be at first until he saw “Babe” printed on one of them.
Torres told NJ.com he put a halt to sweeping them up and began putting what he now recognized as old trading cards in a pile. His eyes saw dollar signs and while he won’t become rich overnight, it was quite a stash.
There were 262 ‘strip’ cards in the wall including five picturing Babe Ruth. While many were in rough shape, some even torn in half, perhaps by the appetite of hungry rodents at some point over the last 95 years or so, there were numerous stars including five Babe Ruth cards. The cards featured not only baseball players like Ruth, Ty Cobb, Casey Stengel, Home Run Baker and George Sisler, but also actors and other non-sports subjects. Quite a few, including the Ruth and Eddie Collins cards pictured, are from the W519 set.
The strip cards, usually given out with the purchase of candy or other items, are rather crude art and don’t have quite the following of other vintage issues, but it’s still a worthwhile find. They were made by Decalco Litho Co., a company in nearby Hoboken. Originally issued in long strips, hence the name, they were meant to be cut apart by youngsters. There were also a few cards from other manufacturers in the ‘Jersey City Find’ including American Caramel.
After getting a look at the collection through local media, Leighton Sheldon of Just Collect estimated the value of Torres’ newly discovered collection at around $10,000.
Watch the story from CBS2 in New York below. If you can’t see it, click here.