Sports Collectors

Jackpot: Old Storage Unit Buy Surrenders a Gem

Sometimes spending that extra five bucks is worth it.  Just ask Sandy Healy.

The New Hampshire realtor and her husband opted to outbid another person at a storage unit auction in Nashua eight years ago.  They made the buy because Sandy’s husband saw the word “Bowman” on one of the storage boxes inside the unit and recognized it as a baseball card brand. 

Sandy’s father had just passed away, however, and the boxes wound up in the attic.  They stayed there for eight years but in February, Sandy was home recovering from surgery and decided to finally check out what she’d bought back in 2013.  About 4 AM, she ran across a card of Mike Trout that appeared to have been autographed. 

“I had no idea what I had, I had never heard of Mike Trout,” Healy told Seacoast Online. “I Googled (the card) and then I sat there for about an hour and said, ‘No way this is not happening to me, no way!’”

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Seacoast Online photo.

It wasn’t just any Trout card, though.

It was a 2009 Bowman Chrome Draft Autograph, his most sought after issue.  While card wasn’t one of the rarer parallel versions, it was still a pretty great find.  The unpaid storage unit had held quite a treasure.  

After getting some advice from a couple of local card shop owners, Sandy took the card to a PSA representative who was taking submissions at a card show in Manchester this spring and submitted it for authentication and grading.  A couple of weeks later, the card arrived in the mailbox—a freshly graded, encapsulated NM/MT 8 worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $9,000-$10,000. 

A 9 or 10 grade or one of those serial numbered parallels would have been a much bigger bonanza, of course, but the three $20 bills she spent on the storage boxes back in 2013 turned into a pretty good investment.

Sandy told SC Daily on Thursday that she’s not planning on selling the card for a while, hopeful that its value will continue to grow as the rest of Trout’s career unfolds.

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She said the rest of the find included “five or six” totes containing boxes from that time period that had been opened with the cards placed back inside the wrappers, along with some complete sets.  She’s also started a little collection for herself, picking up cards of local favorites including family friend Hunter Long, who was recently drafted by the Miami Dolphins and his former Boston College teammate A.J. Dillon of the Green Bay Packers.  She still hasn’t been through the entire contents of the rest of the storage unit, but it’s safe to say the remainder has a lot to live up to.

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