The Brooklyn Atlantics card, which is thought to be from the 1860s, will be offered for sale on Thursday, July 30, 2015, as part of Heritage Auctions’ Platinum Night Sports Auction. The pre-Civil War card which passed down in one family for 155 years could be sold for as much as $50,000. The card is being offered by Florence Sasso, from Great Barrington, Massachusetts, 75, the great grand-niece-in-law of Archibald McMahon, one of the players on The Brooklyn Atlantics. The card, which was given to Sasso by her mother, the late Mildred Sasso, spent the decades with various family members before ending up with Sasso’s mother, who kept it in a secret compartment in a piece of furniture the family inherited from an uncle.
Once the card was given to Sasso, she moved it from place to place – often from safekeeping in the pages of a book into another book – until she realized that the card, aside from being a link to her family history, could be quite valuable. Without children to pass it on to, Sasso has decided the time has come for a new caretaker for the artifact.
The subject of the card is the Atlantic Base Ball Club of Brooklyn, considered the first Champion of our National Pastime, as well as the sport’s first dynasty.
The Atlantics served as a founding member of the sport’s first organized league, the National Association of Base Ball Players, and held the Championship from 1859 through the war-shortened season of 1861 before finally surrendering supremacy to archrival Eckford of Brooklyn in 1862.