The Beckett Blog


Conan O’Brien loses to Jay Leno again — this time on cards by Chris Olds

With the late-night talk show drama of the last few weeks — a rumble between Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien — to end tonight, I got curious.

Just minutes after the first reports of how O’Brien finished his final episode of The Tonight Show on NBC (by taking the high road in his finale) arrived, and about an hour before airtime, I wondered … do Leno or O’Brien have any trading cards?

One would think with all of the celebrity trading cards produced in the last few years and the decades of non-sports cards out there someone might have touched on some of the most-famous names in TV history, right?

The answer? Not really.

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Bernice Gallego’s 1869 baseball card sells for $75,285 by Chris Olds

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The 19th century baseball card discovered by a 72-year-old California woman sold Tuesday night on the auction block for $75,285 (bidding ended at $64,073 with a 17.5 percent buyer’s premium).

Antique dealer Bernice Gallego‘s 1869 Peck & Snyder Cincinnati Red Stockings advertising card was sold by Tustin, Calif.-based Memory Lane Inc. after a groundswell of publicity surrounding her story had her on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last month.

Because of Memory Lane’s 15-minute rule, the auction closed at 9:47 p.m. Eastern time after 96 bids instead of at 9 p.m. as previously announced. (The bidding window is extended for previous bidders until there are no bids placed for 15 minutes.) Four bids were placed after 9 p.m. gradually bumping the high bid from $60,073 up to its final price.

The buyer? TRISTAR Productions President and CEO Jeff Rosenberg.

“Bought it for my collection,” Rosenberg said via e-mail. “However, in the past we have given away items from the collection including T206 Wagner, Babe Ruth Rookie, etc.”

The starting bid? $10 — exactly what she had originally asked for the 140-year-old card on eBay last summer.

The final results for the PSA-authenticated card, which is considered to be one of the first baseball cards ever made, can be seen here.

To read more about Gallego’s reaction to the auction, see the Fresno Bee‘s story by Mike Osegueda here.

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at colds@beckett.com.