There have been a couple of items mentioned recently, with astounding prices. On last week’s Antiques Roadshow, an unusual baseball item appeared. A woman brought in a collection of 10 cards of Boston Red Stockings players. The collection also included a signed letter addressed to her great-great grandmother who owned the boarding house in 1871 where the players stayed. Signatures included Albert Spalding and brothers George and Harry Wright. The appraiser stated that even though the cards had been slightly trimmed, she would value this collection at—at least $1,000,000.
The next night on Olbermann, noted TV sportscaster and sports card collector Keith Olbermann talked about this in his segment “World’s Worst.” He said the cards were actually clipped from scorecards for 1871 Boston games. The cards were a novelty used to sell more scorecards in order to obtain more cards but did not sell well. Although the cards are rare, there are two dozen different ones known. There are at least 100 of them in collections and Olbermann owns some himself. He disputed the appraiser’s $1,000,000 value but did not say what he thought they were worth.
In Robert Edwards Auctions held in the Spring of 2014, a 5¢ Mars Attacks unopened pack was offered with a reserve of $1,000. The pack sold for $11,850. The write-up for this pack and later information about its use for the Abrams Mars Attacks book led one to believe this is the only unopened pack ever seen. At one of the early Philly Non-Sports Card shows held at the Radisson Hotel in Trevose, PA, a walk-in approached one of the dealers with two—not one, but two—unopened Mars Attacks packs. The dealer bought the packs (unfortunately the price has never been told) and offered one of them to Mike Carbonaro who was a dealer at the show. Anyone knowing Carbonaro is aware he’s quite a character. Not believing this was a real pack, he immediately threw it across the room. The “very real” pack ended up with a hole in one of the corners. So what happened to this pack and what happened to the other pack? Seems to me, there’s more than one around.
Mars Attacks 5¢ pack from Robert Edwards Auction 2014 Spring Auction