"This is one of the greatest discoveries in the history of our hobby."
That is how Professional Sports Authenticator president Joe Orlando described one family's unbelievable find of seven Ty Cobb cards that are expected to be valued at more than $1 million, per the Associated Press (via Sports Illustrated).
To make the story even wilder, the century-old baseball cards were found in an old paper bag.
Most of the cards have outstanding eye appeal, but this was the jewel of the group: pic.twitter.com/VpkEh9Nh5v— Joe Orlando (@JoeOrlandoPSA) March 2, 2016
Cobb, of course, is one of the greatest hitters in baseball history. He spent the majority of his Hall of Fame career with the Detroit Tigers, setting the all-time hits record (4,189), which was ultimately broken by the Cincinnati Reds' Pete Rose nearly 60 years later.
The family—which wishes to remain anonymous—discovered the Cobb cards in a paper bag at the house of a deceased great-grandfather. After stumbling upon the rare cards, the family took them to a dealer in South Carolina.
One Cobb card alone is highly valuable. Seven cards? That's hard to fathom.
''I doubted they were authentic because finding seven of these cards at one place at one time seemed almost impossible,'' said Rick Snyder (the South Carolina dealer) of MINT State Inc. However, according to the AP, the Cobb cards were examined and appear to be the real deal.
The cards have "Ty Cobb—King of the Smoking Tobacco World" written in green ink on the back:
There were about 15 known examples of the Ty Cobb with "Cobb" back prior to the find. Now there are about 22. pic.twitter.com/vdVWR6UCeU— Joe Orlando (@JoeOrlandoPSA) March 2, 2016
How rare are Cobb cards? This discovery increased the number of cards known to be in existence by nearly 50 percent.
Even with 22 known examples after the find, the card remains far tougher to locate than the famed T206 Honus Wagner: pic.twitter.com/tY5sdKPW7H— Joe Orlando (@JoeOrlandoPSA) March 2, 2016