On an episode of PBS' Antiques Roadshow on Monday night, a woman brought in an assortment of "Boston Red Stockings" memorabilia that had belonged to her great-great-great grandmother. After appraisal, what the show called the largest sports memorabilia collection in its history was valued at $1 million:
But don't rush off to the attic for your old cards and signed balls just yet. According to the Associated Press:
The owner inherited it from her great-great-grandmother, who ran a Boston boarding house where the team lived in 1871-72, PBS said.
The owner's identity was kept private for security reasons, PBS said Monday. The collection had not been formally valued before but the owner had once received a $5,000 offer, PBS said.
According to "Antiques Roadshow" appraiser Leila Dunbar, the "crown jewel" of the items is a May 1871 letter to the Boston landlady that includes notes from three future Hall of Fame members: Albert Spalding, the future sporting good magnate, and brothers Harry and George Wright. The letter included the players' appreciation for their host's cooking.
The baseball franchise is now the Atlanta Braves.
So unless your collection's got a letter raving about your PB&Js from Alexander Cartwright, you haven't hit the jackpot just yet. But if you start cooking for, say, Freddie Freeman and the Uptons now, you can buy all of your great-great-great-grandkids a space tourist package to Mars.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.