Boston Red Stockings Cards Create a Buzz at Antiques Roadshow
Back in August a lady brought her trove of Boston Red Stockings cards to a taping for Antiques Roadshow. Not only did she have a number of very rare baseball cards, she also had a letter, hand-written by the players of the team, addressed to her great-great-great grandmother.
Who was Grandma?
Apparently, her ancestor had been the landlady for a nice boarding house in Boston back in the 1870s. The players from the Boston team stayed at this boarding house, making it their home in Boston during the playing season.
When they went off on a road trip to play baseball in Washington, D.C. they wrote their letter expressing how much they missed "home" and the great cooking they were used to.
The Red Stockings
Just to let you know, the Boston Red Stockings became the first "dynasty" team in the early 1870s, winning their league championship four years in a row.
The team had been formed in Cincinnati in the 1860s but moved to Boston when attendance started to dwindle.
What was most interesting about this Boston team was that three of the starting nine players went on to be voted into the baseball Hall of Fame. They were Harry Wright (center fielder and co-founder of the team), his brother George Wright (shortstop), and a pitcher named Albert Spaulding.
Those of you familiar with sports may recognize that last name. After baseball, he co-founded the A. G. Spaulding sporting goods company.
Back to the Roadshow
The baseball cards were so rare that experts didn't even know some of them existed any more. But the letter was what really excited the folks at Antiques Roadshow. Here was a letter, hand-written, with original signatures of three Hall of Fame players plus their teammates.
If you've watched Antiques Roadshow, you know how they go about revealing the value of items. Of course, they only show us the things they think are the best. If you want to know the value they put on this family heirloom, take a look at my latest post at http://coolbaseballmemorabilia.com/boston-red-stockings-cards-whats-their-value/.
You'll love the woman's reaction!
One more thing - if you ever have to clean out someone else's home, make sure you check what's in every box. There might be a sports memorabilia treasure in there!