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Game On! Rare 1865 Baseball Card Tossed On The Auction Block

Yard sale purchases can be hit or miss, but a Maine antiques picker's cheap booty may net him up to $100,000 at auction on Wednesday.

The New York Post reports that a 148-year-old Brooklyn Atlantics baseball card was discovered late last year in a photo album Floyd Hartford purchased among other things at a yard sale. Initially the card was thought to be one of two in existence since the Library of Congress has one in its collection. It turns out, though, that the two cards are similar but not quite the same. They were printed from different negatives.

Troy Thibodeau, manager of the Saco River Auction Co. that's handling the sale, told the Portland Press Herald that "the images on the two cards could be viewed together through a stereoscopic viewer, which created the illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images."

The Brooklyn Atlantics card differs from today's baseball cards because it's an original portrait of the amateur team — nine players and their manager — mounted on a card, rather than the shot of just one player most people are familiar with these days. (This portrait on a card thing was de rigueur during the Civil War era, as we learned last year).

Some may recall that a collection of baseball cards found in an Ohio attic last year sold for $565,332 at auction. The 37 cards featured players such as Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Connie Mack.

So, lesson for today? Check those attics and be careful what you set out at a yard sale!

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