I sometimes imagine I’ll be driving by and see an estate sale, with a sign that says “autographed items” and I stop and get a great deal on something. What keeps that dream alive is hearing stories like this. A woman in Maryland bought a used piano at an estate sale from a woman that died in 1969 -- the year of my birth. When that woman died in 1992, that piano sold at an estate sale for $25 to someone else in the family. Ellen Kelly made the purchase, and probably thought it was money poorly spent, when one of the pedals kept sticking. A friend came over to fix it and noticed a Babe Ruth rookie card, along with 100 other baseball cards inside. Even though she found these a while ago, she’s now selling them.
Kelly said her father or uncle probably hid the cards inside the piano because their mom threw everything out. And, the amount of times we’ve heard from the older folks in our family, “If my parents didn’t throw out my comic books” or “That Mickey Mantle rookie card I had…”
No word on what the other cards are worth, but a Babe Ruth rookie card (in better condition), sold for almost $39,000 a decade ago through Heritage Auctions.
Kelly got a lot more than that. Her Ruth card just sold for $130,000. She said, “That was a good return on my $25.”