The Antiques Roadshow, a popular staple of PBS for many years, has gone from place to place appraising people’s seemingly worthless/worthwhile junk. Well, one woman in particular brought in a 140-year-old baseball card collection that was passed down to her.

The players on the cards were from the Boston Red Stockings, the team that would eventually become the Atlanta Braves: her great-grandparents owned a boarding house in Boston where many of the players stayed. So not only did she have the player cards, but letters written and signed to her great-grandparents — one signature in particular was from Albert Goodwill Spalding, the founder of the Spalding brand.

Despite the cards being cut down and showing some damage, the appraiser Leila Dunbar claimed, “we have never seen these cards before. To have a letter with Harry Wright and Spalding on it is tremendous. To have anything with their signature on it is phenomenal… It is the greatest archive I have ever had at the show.”

And it is also the “biggest sports memorabilia valuation in Antiques Roadshow history,” with Dunbar recommending to insure the whole lot for $1 million. She was most recently offered $5,000 for the collection, but luckily turned it down to keep the collection in her family. “Holy smokes” indeed.

h/t: For the Win

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