Popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow has showcased some unique items in the past, but they recently made history with a collection of baseball cards from the Boston Red Stockings circa the 1870s.
The owner of the memorabilia collection brought the rare items to a taping of the show this past Saturday, and once appraised, it was determined to be worth $1 million.
“It was just sitting in here in a desk drawer,” the owner said, according to the Daily Mail. “I ran across it one day and decided I'd like to have it, not realizing at all what it was worth.”
While this was reportedly the first time that the collection was ever professionally appraised, PBS reports that a $5,000 offer had once been made to the owner.
Antiques Roadshow appraiser Leila Dunbar says that the most important item in the collection, referred to as the “crown jewel,” is a letter from May 1871 to a Boston landlady from three team members who are now in the Hall of Fame – Albert Spalding, Harry Wright and George Wright.
“When you look at memorabilia and you value it, you look at the historical importance of the players, of the team, of the era, of the event,” Dunbar explained. “You also look at rarity, you look at condition, you look at provenance. And this has it all.”