Not true baseball card collector is there for the money, but rather the sheer pleasure of collection. But it’s always nice to leave a little monetary validation to family and loved ones who don’t necessarily share your passion for the hobby – as with James Micioni of New Jersey, 97, recently deceased, who according to NJ.com has left behind a collection of baseball cards estimated at several million dollars.
Micioni’s collection includes over a thousand baseball cards, but it is clearly a case of quality rather than quantity. Some of the treasures in his collection do not include one, not two, but SIX signed in 1933 Babe Ruth cards, each of which would have more than $ 100,000. Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx are two other famous signatures with their 1933 Goudey cards in the collection of Micioni, the same set that includes autographs by Babe Ruth.
According to baseball card experts, the “Uncle Jimmy Collection”, as it is now officially called, is one of the largest collections of baseball cards ever assembled by a single collector. Chuck Whisman of Wheatland Auction Services, which sells the Uncle Jimmy collection, spoke about the discovery today:
“Maybe once in a decade, something like this happens. The cool thing is that nobody knew about his collection. He just collected it all his life. He didn’t show it to anyone. “
Anyway, Micioni was well known as a baseball card aficionado for his nieces and nephews, all of whom say they did not realize the full value of what their uncle had accumulated until his death. . “You will understand when I am gone,” he said, according to his nephew Peter, who also said that Uncle Jimmy was known to give family members cards as gifts without revealing how bad they were. rare or precious. could have been.
The Uncle Jimmy Collection is unique in other ways beyond the rarity of some of its acquisitions. It is also remarkably well preserved, as Joe Orlando of Collectors Universe explains to NJ.com:
“You are not just talking about a huge pile of unsigned cards that have been kept. You are talking about cards that had to be handled and sent to the players and autographed then returned and then kept … Because Uncle Jimmy kept them so well, the colors keep their freshness and their luminosity, so the visual appeal of the cards is enormous because it took the time to keep them in a good way. “
Fascinatingly, Micioni’s family says that he never paid for an autograph or even queued for an autograph. Instead, he would mail his cards to his favorite teams and players with long handwritten letters asking for their signature, as well as a return envelope – a process that seems to have served him well over his long career. collector.