20 members of a family in Ohio are thrilled Aunt Jean was a packrat. Among the many boxes uncovered in an attic in an old Defiance home was 700 century-old baseball cards worth about $3 million, at least in the opinion of one expert.
The manufacturer and the exact date of the cards is unclear, but the cards are members of the E98 series from around 1910, according to PSA. The authenticators had dealt with fewer than 700 E98s previously in all of their years of grading cards. Now one find has yielded more more than that total, including a PSA 10 Honus Wagner and 16 PSA 9 Ty Cobb’s.
“Every future find will ultimately be compared to this,” said Joe Orlando, president of Professional Sports Authenticator.
Karl Kissner has control of the cards now. He believes they belonged to his grandfather, Carl Hench, who ran a meat market in Defiance and could have gotten them as promotional items. The plan is for the cards to go to auction, with 20 cousins in the Hench family splitting the proceeds.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.