Dr. Thomas Newman spent 40 years collecting baseball cards and other sports memorabilia. When he passed away in January due to COVID-19, the 73-year-old left his entire collection to his family.
It turns out, Dr. Newman was sitting on one of the most valuable collections of sports cards in history. His family plans to auction off the cards this summer, and they could fetch a total of $20 million.
"He would want it to be an investment for the family's future," his widow, Nancy Newman, told Reuters. "He would probably love this. He wouldn't have asked for it, he wouldn't have brought attention to himself... (but) I am sure he is looking down and is very happy with what's happening with the collection," she said.
The crown jewel of his collection is a 1933 Babe Ruth card that is in near-mint condition. That card could break the world record of $5.2 million when it is sold at auction.
Newman purchased the card from a collector years ago and refused to sell it despite numerous offers.
The collection also includes a 1916 Babe Ruth Sporting News rookie card and a 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card in near-perfect condition.
"There are some amazing one-of-a-kind pieces that we, as a company who have been doing this over 20 years, have never seen before," said JP Cohen, president of Memory Lane Auctions, which is handling the sale of the card collection.
The auction will begin on June 21 and will run until July 10.
"It thrills me to know that collectors that are as serious about it as Tom are going to be able to find things that will give them so much joy. The kind of joy it gave Tom," Nancy said.
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