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Holy Cow! Family Finds Baseball Card Collection That May Fetch $3 Million

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Holy Cow! Family Finds Baseball Card Collection That May Fetch $3 Million

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Holy Cow! Family Finds Baseball Card Collection That May Fetch $3 Million

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/156599758/156626794" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This week, good fortune has once again come to Defiance, Ohio. The first time was in the 1950s. You might remember that first case from a 2005 movie called "The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio."

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

It was based on the true story of a poor family from the town who hit the jackpot. The mother had a knack for coming up with slogans and winning contests and saved the family from financial ruin.

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, THE PRIZEWINNER OF DEFIANCE, OHIO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Congratulations, you've just won $5,000. Out of 65,000 entries in our national bike contest, you have won the grand prize.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Mrs. Ryan, are you all right?

JULIANNE MOORE: (as Evelyn Ryan) I just have to sit down and have myself a happy cry.

BLOCK: Well, now another family in Defiance has defied the odds once again. In February, Karl Kissner and his cousins found a stash of 700 old baseball cards, bundled with twine, in the attic of his deceased grandparents' home.

KARL KISSNER: We did not have any clue what we had really found.

SIEGEL: This is from an interview he gave to the Defiance Crescent News, the local paper. What they found were cards smaller than the usual kind, but among them three of baseball's old-time greats: Ty Cobb, Cy Young and Honus Wagner.

KISSNER: So, our decision was they're either worth nothing or they're seriously worth something.

BLOCK: So they took them to experts and two weeks later they learned that what they'd found may be one of the biggest discoveries in the world of sports card collecting. What they had is a rare 1910 set of baseball cards in nearly pristine condition.

Unlike his grandfather, Karl Kissner says he never collected baseball cards but he has a new-found appreciation for them.

KISSNER: It's just neat.

SIEGEL: Neat, indeed. A Defiance, Ohio family hits a jackpot worth nearly $3 million.

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