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Babe Ruth rookie card discovered in piano sells for $130K at auction

A woman who had the incredibly good fortune of finding a rare Babe Ruth rookie card in a player piano purchased at an estate sale is understandably overjoyed over how it recently sold for $130,053 at auction.

Ellen Kelly bought the player piano, which once belonged to her aunt, for $25 at a 1992 estate sale. During a repair of a sticky pedal, the M101-4 Ruth rookie card from 1916 was discovered. 110 other cards were found inside the player piano as well, but evidently none that were as valuable as the Ruth rookie card.

The card, which was surprisingly still in good condition, was not expected to fetch over $130,000 at auction, as a comparable Ruth rookie card sold 10 years ago for only $38,837. Imagine everyone’s surprise — including sports memorabilia experts as well as Kelly — when $130,053 ended up as the winning bid in the Beckett Goodwin online auction that ended on April 26.

“Best $25 I ever spent,” Kelly told Sports Collectors Daily.

To put it mildly.