There are certain cards that us regular collectors can only dream of having. The T206 Honus Wagner. The 1952 Mickey Mantle. Cards that are so famous they transcend the hobby.
Another is the 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings Team card, the card that is generally regarded as the very first baseball card.
I could certainly never afford one of these, but I may have found the next best thing. :)
First, a bit of background. For those not familiar with this card, in 1869 a sporting goods company called Peck & Snyder was looking for a way to sell more baseball equipment. They decided to promote the sport (and themselves) by producing this card featuring the very first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. The Cincinnati Base Ball Club was formed in 1866. They barnstormed around the country, compiling a perfect 65-0 record in 1869. The back of the card features an advertisement for Peck & Snyder.
OK, so why am I talking about this?
In 2009, 72 year old Bernice Gallego of Fresno, CA stumbled across an old looking baseball card in a collection of old items. Having no idea what the card was, she decided to put it up on eBay for $10. Luckily for her, someone she knew saw the listing and immediately told her to take it down. She had discovered an honest to goodness copy of the original baseball card! She ended up selling the card through an auction house called Memory Lane Inc. for $64,073.
As part of the auction, Memory Lane Inc. apparently produced 100 serial numbered reprints of the card and sent them to various high-end collectors they thought might have interest in participating in the auction. And I just got my hands on one!!
I can't afford the famous card, but I CAN get a piece of the auction of the famous card!!
As part of my purchase I also got the little book full of articles about the card that Memory Lane sent to potential buyers:
A DVD of Bernice Gallego's appearance on Jay Leno to talk about her historic find:
And also the original letter sent to a Mr. Clark Cato that came with the reprint: