Source - After James Micioni passed away at 97 years old this March, he left quite a surprise for his relatives who went through his possessions:
One of the most incredible private collections of baseball memorabilia the world has ever seen.
Micioni, who was known around his hometown of Boonton as “Uncle Jimmy,” had a collection of more than 1,000 vintage baseball cards and collectibles that is expected to fetch up to several million dollars at auction.
Perhaps the most desirable card in Micioni’s collection is a signed Babe Ruth card from 1933, which is likely to sell for more than $100,000.
Uncle Jimmy had six of them, all hand-signed by the “Great Bambino” himself.
Other rare finds among the collection include a signed Lou Gehrig card from the same 1933 Goudey set, as well as a Jimmie Foxx card from the same set, also signed.
Experts say the discovery of Micioni’s collection is one of the most incredible finds in the history of the hobby. ...
The entire collection has been authenticated and graded by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), the largest trading card, autograph and memorabilia authentication and grading service in the world.
I have to admit, Uncle Jimmy sounds like a really nice guy. Good family man. A gentle soul who loved the heroes of his youth and treasured his memories of them. A man with an appreciation of history who did what he could to preserve it for future generations. Uncle Jimmy was also a complete and utter asshole.
Millions? With an "s"? As in the plural of "million," and he sat on that? Worse, he kept his collection up in the attic where it could've been lost in a house fire, ruined by water damage or eaten by rodents? Worst still, he didn't cash that in while he was still alive and spend the ever living shit out of that money while he was still young enough to enjoy it? What did he think, he could take the cards with him? Get the others signed? "Dear Jimmy, Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the afterlife. Lou Gehrig."
This is what I don't get about the whole collectibles life. They put a monetary value on things that have a sentimental value, then attach sentiment to things that have monetary value. But if any object becomes worth more in actual dollars than it means to your heart, your brain should take over and sell, sell, sell. That's just logic and reasoning. Instead, guys like this hang onto possessions when they could be liquidating them and spending their golden days on yacht or flying around the world. So millions sit in the dark in a box next to the Christmas decorations until they drop dead. You know what Uncle Jimmy's hero Babe Ruth would've done with an old Ty Cobb card worth $100,000? He would've cashed it in for a month in Havana with a hotel room filled with top quality escorts, cigars and whisky, not save it for his grandkids to find in the attic when he's dead.
I'll admit I'm just bitter, because I have nothing from when I was a kid. And I spent way more buying stuff than I care to admit.
First of all, I probably put an Ivy League tuition's worth of cards in the spokes of my bikes with a clothespin to make that pfpfpfpfpf sound. When I moved out, my mom decided it was time to clean my room for the first time since I was in elementary school, and threw out god knows how many Carlton Fisk rookie cards and my complete set of "Marvel's Secret Wars." Not to mention the Red Auerbach cigar I fished out of an ashtray when I got to go to watch him, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish and Danny Ainge shoot a coaching instructional video once (long story). So I can appreciate the desire to hang onto your childhood memories. But not nearly as much as I can appreciate the value of millions of dollars you can spend making adulthood memories.
Here's hoping the Micioni family knows how to enjoy Jimmy's riches more than he did.