Memory Lane Inc's auction of the 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings trade card closed late Tuesday night with a successful final winning bid of $75,285.78, the most ever paid for a Peck & Snyder card. The end of the auction closed a chapter on one of the hobby's greatest finds.
The rare 19th century card, considered one of the most important of all time, generated headlines after it was pulled from storage last year by the owner of a central California antique and collectibles shop who didn't immediately realize its potential value. Bernice Gallego dug the card out of a nondescript box and initially placed the card on eBay, hoping it would sell for just a few dollars. She was contacted by interested collectors almost immediately, which led her to investigate further. She consulted with a local collector who advised her that the card deserved special attention as a previously undiscovered specimen. Her impending good fortune led Gallego to a spot on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and several other national talk shows. The story also received international attention through a variety of print, electronic and online media outlets.
Gallego and her husband Al selected the hobby's fastest growing auction house, Memory Lane Inc. to sell the card at auction on its website. After opening January 20, 96 bids were placed before the auction closed Tuesday night.
The winning bidder was Jeff Rosenberg, president of Houston-based Tri-Star Productions, which promotes a variety of sports card and memorabilia shows across the country.
It's believed less than ten of this special Red Stockings cards exist. The card was issued as a promotional item by sporting goods dealer Peck & Snyder to honor the rapid rise and success of the nation's first professional baseball team. It is a true treasure from the earliest days of professional baseball, a 140 year-old cardboard epic museum piece. Its discovery was truly extraordinary and one of the most memorable events in the history of the sports collecting hobby.
For an item that almost slipped through the cracks for a bargain basement price, the 1869 Peck & Snyder card has earned its place in hobby history too. You never know what's buried in your attic or hiding in an antique mall box somewhere. Memory Lane proved again that when those finds happen, it is the only choice to consider if you're looking to obtain the best possible price.