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tv   Lou Dobbs Tonight  FOX Business  December 9, 2018 4:00am-5:00am EST

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i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching. and remember -- you can't take it with you. >> he makes big-screen magic... >> he was indeed a genius. he had the eye. >> ...but his heart belongs to this tiny stage. >> they're spectacular, down to the finest detail. >> this was the place where he poured all of his love. [ woman vocalizing ] >> so how did these guys inherit his life's work? >> i was a senior in high school, and i was looking for a job that i wouldn't hate. >> you feel like you might be sitting on a gold mine? >> must their show go on? >> it would be...over. >> it would be gone. everything would be dismantled and somewhere in a dumpster. >> or will the fat lady sing? [ operatic singing ] [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ]
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[ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm in rolling meadows, illinois. it's a suburb of chicago. some weather, huh? i'm here to meet two brothers whose strange inheritance had some serious strings attached. >> my name is justin snyder. and in 2006, our friend and mentor bill fosser passed away, leaving my brother and me a sort of chicago institution -- his puppet opera. >> hi, justin. i'm jamie. >> jamie, nice to meet you. >> i'm told that you have something that i may never see again. >> here, follow me. >> i will. justin leads me behind the scenes of a most unusual opera house. >> all these boxes here contain costumes for various, different productions. >> wow! this is my kind of wardrobe. if only it came in my size.
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the costumes are so small because the players taking the stage aren't the supersized tenors and sopranos you expect to see at the opera. they're 16-inch puppets. the maestro behind this pint-size production, justin's boss, the late bill fosser. who was bill fosser? >> bill fosser taught me everything i know about puppetry. he had a unique ability to re-create full-scale environments, but in a miniature scale. he was one of my best friends. >> fosser, born in 1928, grows up in a working-class neighborhood on chicago's west side. >> he described himself as a sickly child. he was stuck at home a lot and would experiment with household materials to try to kind of create his own puppets. >> in 1935, when bill is 7, his aunt takes him to his first opera, verdi's "il trovatore."
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he's enchanted by it all -- the music, the costumes, and the stage design. >> he fell in love with the art form of opera, but he was always interested in -- in puppets and then, eventually, just combined the two. >> the boy builds a mini opera house with a velvet curtain and assembles his company of players. >> he told us that he used to offer performances to kids in the neighborhood for like a penny. >> turns out, puppet opera is an actual thing in those days. bill sees an article in the paper about a lavish restaurant in chicago that's adding a puppet opera to its bill of fare. the place is called kungsholm. >> kungsholm was a swedish smorgasbord and a puppet theater all in one. >> steve golden was six when he saw his first show at the kungsholm. that led to a lifelong career as a professional puppeteer, who also handles purchases and
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acquisitions for the northwest puppet center in seattle. so, steve's childhood experience at the kungsholm left an impression. >> you came to the restaurant and you were given a complementary ticket to the puppet miniature grand opera. >> was it an institution in chicago? >> oh, was it ever? to go there was a highlight of a day. >> how fabulous. opera stars and socialites flocked to see kungsholm puppets perform arias from operas such as "madame butterfly" or "the barber of seville." so, 14-year-old bill fosser takes his best handmade puppet and talks his way into a summer job at the theater. soon, he, too, is hooked for life. he becomes an expert puppetmaker and patents a design for a puppet with more natural body movements than the ones used at the kungsholm. >> this is one of the original
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kungsholm puppets. the operator would be underneath and there's a series of rods and strings. >> justin's brother, shayne snyder, is the other heir in our story. >> these two here are made by bill fosser and these were actually two of bill's favorite puppets. this is canio from "pagliacci", and this is lakmè from the opera "lakmè." >> so, it was bill who advanced this technique of the rings and the rods? >> correct. he made many improvements to the design, like giving them a little bit of a joint here and then the walking. >> can you make them walk? >> mm-hmm. >> unbelievable. >> and you can get a lot of range of movement and motions just from lifting and turning the rod. >> ingenious, but it's tough to make a buck in puppets. so, bill only works off and on at the kungsholm, though he pays the bills with another skill he perfects there. he's a sought-after stage designer at full-scale chicago theaters. >> he was indeed a genius.
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he had the eye. >> actor tony mockus performed on some of bill's sets in the early days. >> every now and then, you're lucky enough to work with people who have that kind of an ability and bill has that ability. >> eventually, the kungsholm falls into disrepair, closes, and re-opens as a steakhouse with no puppets. >> bill opens his own puppet theater. he's never married, has no kids, so it's his baby. [ gasps ] oh, my! he christens it "opera in focus." >> he had the idea of, like, a camera lens in mind, so it's like looking through the lens of camera at this weird, miniature world. >> bill built this? >> he built all of this, yes, indeed. [ "the pearl fishers" plays ]
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bill sort of single-handedly kept the art form alive. >> he didn't have a patron. i mean, if he were in europe, he would have been flooded with cash. >> he needs it. bill's first performances barely break even. luckily, around the same time, hollywood comes calling. >> word got around in california that if you're going to chicago, you get ahold of fosser. >> he designs the sets for "home alone" and "curly sue" and a couple of best picture winners, too. >> "the sting," "ordinary people." >> great credits, but it all was just a way to fund his miniature opera. >> in bill's heart, puppets were number one. it's what he lived for. >> in 1993, at 65, bill takes his dream retirement. he leaves the film biz and moves his puppet opera to the chicago suburb of rolling meadows.
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curtains rise and fall, and after a few more years, bill realizes he needs more help and, though he doesn't say so at the time, an heir or two. he places a want ad in the newspaper. it's answered by 18-year-old justin snyder. >> when i told him that i wanted to be a puppeteer, he kind of chuckled and he said, "well, if you're gonna work here, you're gonna have to be an all-purpose evil henchman." >> what exactly does that mean? [ vocalizes ] >> natural puppeteer. >> i'll find out in act two, right after intermission. ♪ >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the answer after the break. right arm; right leg.
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♪music time and time again, you know when i'm doing street magic..i'll walk up to someone and i can just see they're against me right? they don't want to be amazed. they don't want this experience to happen. but then the magic happens. ♪can we be there? and all of that falls away. ♪oh, just think of the time
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♪i know that some will say come on man! ♪it matters a little babe. stunned. i believe in magic. it's the experience of waking up and seeing things the way you saw them before they became ordinary. ♪i needed to try (amazement & laughter) ♪i needed to fall that's the goal. i'm looking for that experience of wonder. ♪i need never get old >> so, which "star wars" character did jim henson help create? it's "b," yoda, who debuted in the 1980 film "the empire strikes back." [ operatic singing ] >> former movie set designer bill fosser is spending his retirement just as he wants -- staging scenes from classic
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operas with 16-inch puppets for captivated audiences in the chicago suburbs. >> boy, he knew opera backwards and forwards. he knew when the tenor was going to take a breath... when the soprano would hit her high c's. you were just swept away. >> but bill's in his 70s -- the old ticker's not what it used to be, and he has no family to take over his labor of love. so, in the summer of 2000, he advertises for an apprentice. >> i was a senior in high school, and i was looking for a job that i wouldn't hate. >> justin's brother, shayne, is intrigued, too. they both interview with fosser. >> when i told him that i wanted to be a puppeteer, he kind of chuckled and he said, "well, if you're gonna work here, you're gonna have to be an all-purpose
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evil henchman." >> oh, my. >> so, right off the bat, it was like a crash-course. >> bill teaches them all he knows -- how to design and mold puppets out of polyester resin, how to operate the sound, special effects, and everything else it takes to run one of the most technically sophisticated puppet shows in the world. you think i could learn how to be a puppeteer? >> we'll have you manipulating the puppets like a pro. >> here under the stage, the chairs have been shaved down until the seats rest inches from the floor. all right, guys, what am i doing here? >> all right, so here's your shot at the big time. shayne's gonna demonstrate here on his puppet. so, basically your left hand is gonna control the central mechanism of the puppets, which is front and back, and then there you go, perfect. >> okay. >> all right, and then this little lever here is the side-to-side motion of the head. >> she's turning her head. wow. >> if you twist this wheel, you'll see that her legs will start to walk. >> okay. >> and -- there you go. >> there she goes. >> then you can control the
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direction of the arm by how you twist it, so i'm gonna hand that one to you. >> okay. >> and that's how you control the arm movements. >> [ vocalizes ] it is very complicated. it's a lot of different movements at the same time. >> you're a natural puppeteer. >> natural puppeteer. >> justin and shayne become bill fosser's natural puppeteers. they're hooked. >> he was like a hero to me. >> it was something that i aspired to be like. >> they skip college, remain under bill's wings, and grow into a much bigger role in the old man's life. you feel like you might have been his surrogate sons? >> definitely, and he told us that all the time, that he looked at us like we were the children that he never had. >> and the heirs he dearly wants to carry on his work. >> he just asked, "what would you think about the idea of continuing this after i'm gone?" and i was just like,
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"sure, you know." >> that casual offer and acceptance put bill fosser's mind at ease. for five more years, he throws his heart into this labor of love... until it finally gives out. bill fosser exits life's stage at age 77. what was the impact of losing him? >> it was really hard. as good of a job as he did in preparing us for taking over the theater, you don't really know how unequipped you are until you're thrown into that position. >> the puppets, the stage, the costumes, the institution -- their strange inheritance turns out to be pretty valuable, too. looks to me like bill might have invested a lot of his money in this. >> for sure. >> do you know how much? >> bill told me that he had invested over a million dollars into it. it's actually -- >> holy smokes! >> yeah. >> back in the '80s, the puppets were insured by lloyd's of london for $6,000 each. >> how many were there? >> back then, i believe bill had 32 "opera in focus" puppets.
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>> that's significant. >> yes. >> 192k significant. and steve golden, of the northwest puppet center, says they would go for a lot more now. at one point, bill had these appraised at about $6,000 each. >> about $6,000. >> do you think that these have held their value today? >> i would say it certainly has held its value because if you just look at every part of the makeup of it, it's worth every penny that's in there. depending on which collector finds out about it, you could possibly get $10,000 for it. >> you're trying to maintain what is a chicago institution, but you feel like you might be sitting on a gold mine? ready for one more plot twist to bill fosser's libretto? it's his final wish for the puppet opera... what did he tell you? >> ...after the break. >> here's another quiz question for you.
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fantastic mr. fox? rudolph the red-nosed reindeer? or the evil other mother from "coraline"? the answer when we return. maria, so how's work?
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maria: it was 4th period biology.
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our students just weren't getting how easily viruses spread. so ms. bell and i had them role play a zombie virus outbreak. by the time they had all learned the lesson, all the living...were dead. hey, how's your job going? carlos: oh, that big sales meeting i planned? next year, i might get to go. kid: cool! i am a techie dad.n. i believe the best technology should feel effortless. like magic. at comcast, it's my job to develop, apps and tools that simplify your experience. my name is mike, i'm in product development at comcast. we're working to make things simple, easy and awesome.
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>> so... it's "c," the evil other mother from the 2009 movie "coraline." >> in 2006, chicago puppeteer bill fosser dies and leaves his puppet opera to his two pupils, shayne and justin snyder. the brothers want to keep it alive. they even hire their own apprentices. meanwhile, local reporters aren't helping.
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they keep reporting it's dead. >> we had to struggle with the media referring to the puppet opera in past tense. all the articles that came out would say like, "'opera in focus' was a puppet theater." >> attendance at their tiny suburban theater hits an all-time low. then, in 2011, a record rainfall floods the theater. justin's sure it's curtains. >> that was probably the end. >> but you had insurance? no insurance? >> no insurance. we had looked into insuring them, but the problem is, the monthly insurance costs were so high that it was unaffordable to us. >> luckily, the brothers had the forethought to stow their uninsured puppets high enough, and they stay dry. but the rest of the place is a mess. >> when the rains finally stopped, they brought in an industrial mold specialist who was basically like, "yeah, we have to tear this place apart." >> no. wait, it gets worse. turns out, before he died,
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bill fosser made a highly unusual request to his heirs. what did he tell you? >> well, originally, what he had said is that if the puppet theater were ever to close down, he wanted us to destroy everything. >> destroy, like, "gone"? this? >> everything, yeah. >> why? >> he viewed it as the puppets are instruments, kind of like a violin being stuck in a display case somewhere and not performing its purpose. he found that idea unbearable. >> it would be...over. >> it would be dismantled and somewhere in a dumpster. >> will they need to do that? >> how much do you make doing this? >> showtime! >> that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website -- strangeinheritance.com.
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"strange inheritance." >> here's where we left justin and shayne snyder, the heirs in this story. a flood in chicago closes "opera in focus," which the brothers inherited from master puppeteer bill fosser. >> we were worried that we might not be able to come back from that just 'cause of the cost involved of rebuilding it all. >> they don't have insurance, but the building does. the landlord agrees the show must go on and pays for the renovation of their 65-seat theater. >> we rebuilt it all from scratch. that was definitely a scary moment. >> but doesn't end their worries. the hiatus further depresses their bottom line. how much do you make doing this? >> we've had productions that have brought in $8,000, maybe, but then we have really poor productions that have maybe brought in $400. >> you must be a pretty wealthy guy to be able to keep this up. >> unfortunately, um, none of us are wealthy. >> are you even breaking even here? >> it's definitely not something
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you're gonna become a millionaire doing. >> that apprentice ad they answered years ago led to a rewarding vocation, not a well-paying one. do you have another job? >> i carve stone for a living. my brother works at a toy factory. >> do you see yourself being able to continue this financially? >> as long as there are people out here in the audience, we'll keep doing it. >> we welcome you, our guests of all ages, to this performance of william b. fosser's puppet production of "opera in focus." >> showtime! [ applause ] >> as the lights dim and their newest production, puccini's "turandot," begins, it strikes me that i'm not listening just to opera. it's the call of a siren that proved irresistible to our two young heirs, as it was to bill fosser before them. [ operatic singing ] let me ask you this, steve. do you think that bill left these fine, young men, who were as devoted to him as he was to
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them, an inheritance that's a burden or a benefit? >> burdens yield benefits. >> puppeteer steve golden, you'll recall, was seduced by these same sirens. he believes, somewhere, bill fosser is shouting "encore!" >> i think bill would be as pleased as punch that this is happening. >> and no doubt grateful to the two young men he named as his heirs all those years ago. but i wonder about that request bill made, that they should destroy all these beautiful puppets if the opera ever closed. is that a request they could ever honor? the brothers vow, succeed or fail, it will never happen. >> i feel like it's a priceless art form. we could never actually destroy anything here. i think bill knew that these puppets to us, again, just like to him, they're like family.
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[ singing continues ] [ applause ] >> bill fosser might not be with them, but justin and shayne want to make sure the art of puppet opera lives on. so, every year, in honor of the man they grew to love like a father, they perform bill's favorite aria, "cielo e mar," or, "sky and sea" from la gioconda. [ operatic singing ] the fact that bill's puppet opera is still up and running, more than 60 years after he started it, that would be music to his ears. i'm jamie colby.
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thanks so much for watching "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. [ singing continues ] >> found in grandpa's attic... >> it was a dirty, dusty old box. and then it's like, "wow. i don't know what it is." >> ...a discovery that will make the baseball world flip. >> you've got honus wagner, ty cobb, cy young, christy mathewson. >> i'm thinking to myself, "oh, my god. i have $1 million sitting in a chair." >> but is it almost too much of a good thing? >> it certainly changes the market in a negative way. >> i'm jamie colby, and today, i'm in northwest ohio, on the edge of an area called the great black swamp.
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i'm here to meet a family who's lived here for more than a 100 years. so when they unearthed their strange inheritance, they give it the code name -- "the black swamp find." >> i'm karl kissner. in 2011, my cousins and i inherited the family home from our aunt. she had left us a note -- we would find things in this home that we never knew existed. >> karl, a 54-year-old restaurant owner, has invited me to the family home in the small town of defiance, ohio. karl? hi. i'm jamie. how are you? >> very good. pleasure to meet you. >> nice to meet you, too. thanks for having me. is this the family home? >> this is grandma's home. come on in. i'll show you around. >> the house first came into karl's family in 1909. >> neat old place, but needs a little tlc. >> are you saying be careful? >> yes. >> okay.
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in 2012, karl and his cousins start the daunting task of cleaning out a home that's been lived in for more than a century. after several weeks of sorting through the house, only the attic remains. karl and his cousin, karla, decide to tackle the project. >> ladies first. >> oh, my! look at this place. the attic is empty now, but not that day in 2012. karl and karla walk in to find a century's worth of dusty boxes and family heirlooms. and literally filled to the rafters. >> filled to the rafters, all the way up to about here and just a path down through the middle. >> after several hours, they uncover a box hugging the back wall. it contains something the two cousins have never seen before. >> it was a dirty, dusty old box, and i opened it up. and then it's like, "wow. there's -- i don't know what it is." >> the cousins see what appear
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to be small cardboard photos tightly wrapped in twine. they recognize some pretty familiar faces. >> we're both looking at it. it's baseball players -- cy young, ty cobb, wagner -- but they're not baseball cards, not to us. we get one out and we look at the back, and they look like baseball cards, just miniaturized, no stats, no who made it, no nothing. >> how many are we talking about? >> hundreds. [ laughs ] >> amazing. so, you see the box. you take them out. what do you and karla say? >> actually, we set them on a dresser in the hallway and dove back into the attic >> but soon, karl starts to ponder where the strange cards may have come from. were they something aunt jean collected off a cereal box? or maybe they go all the way back to his grandfather, carl hench. >> he's a german immigrant and he works his way down through chicago and towards the ohio valley. >> he's chasing the american
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dream -- to own a home and start a business. carl's a butcher by trade, and by 1905, he's scraped together enough to open his own shop here in defiance -- the carl hench meat market. along with meats and sausages, he sells candies and other grocery items. was he successful in his shop? >> very successful as a butcher in town, very well-known. >> in 1909, he marries his love, jennie. they start a family and buy that dream home. by now, baseball has long established itself as the national pastime, and for decades, various companies have used baseball cards to sell their products. >> the first nationally circulated cards came inside packages of tobacco in the late 1880s and was actually one of the first opportunities for the average citizen to own a real photo. >> candy companies jump into the game, too. the so-called "caramel cards" help sell the sweets and the top players of the day.
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>> you've got honus wagner ty cobb, cy young, christy mathewson. >> children love the candy, but the cards even more. >> kids did what kids do. they played with them. they traded them. there's card-flipping games that they did with them. >> all karl and karla know at this point is that the cards may have come from their grandfather's store. >> our guess is that he would have given them away as promotional items, and like any good businessman, when you got leftovers, you save them for the next promotion. >> beyond that, karl isn't sure what they have in the box, but he tells his cousin he'll find out. the box sits on that dresser for a few days and almost gets thrown out several times before karl brings it to his restaurant to research the cards online. after a few days, he has some leads. >> i was looking at a 1909 caramel card and i'm going, "okay, it's not identical, but this is too close, and they've got an estimated value on this
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card --" >> of? >> around $15,000. >> karl discovers that a similar ty cobb card, identified as a 1910 caramel card, recently sold for $40,000. >> and i got a box full of them, and they're pristine. >> that's amazing. you're sitting on a bundle of money. >> yeah. at that point the, the heart is starting to race, and i'm thinking to myself, "oh, my god. i have $1 million sitting in a chair." >> a lot more than that... if, that is, karl can confirm his cards are real. >> you're a little skeptical, but you're always looking forward to that one phone call that turns out to be gold. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question.
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the answer when we return. so a tree falls on your brand-new car and totals it. and as if that wasn't bad enough, now your insurance won't replace it outright because of depreciation. if your insurance won't replace your car, what good is it? you'd be better off just taking your money and throwing it right into the harbor. i'm regret that. with new car replacement, if your brand-new car gets totaled, liberty mutual will pay the entire value plus depreciation. liberty mutual insurance. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪ ♪another summer day is come and gone away♪ ♪in paris and rome but i want to go home♪ ♪mmmmmmmm ♪maybe surrounded by a million people i♪
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♪still feel all alone i just want to go home♪ ♪oh i miss you, you know ♪let me go home ♪i've had my fun baby i'm done♪ ♪i gotta go home ♪it will all be alright ♪i'll be home tonight ♪i'm comin back home
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>> it's "c," the 1984 donruss don mattingly. he didn't have the hall of fame career some predicted, but mattingly's cards remain popular. >> while the grandchildren of
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carl and jennie hench are cleaning out the century-old family home in northwest ohio, they find a dust-covered box containing what appear to be vintage baseball cards. >> i had went to some of the auction sites. i'm seeing a ty cobb for $40,000. and i'm looking at the ty cobb that i have, going, "ooh! mine's better." >> the box karl found in the attic not only contains cobb, known as "the georgia peach," but all the greats of the era. and it's not just one of each player -- it's dozens. in all there, are 800 cards, most in pristine condition. >> it kind takes it out of a scope and a realm that you just -- you're not quite sure how to handle it. >> step one -- find out if the cards are real. karl reaches out to vintage-sports-cards expert peter calderon in dallas. >> i received a phone call, which was very cryptic.
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he didn't want to go into any details. on a daily basis, we receive phone calls from people who find cards. it's always reprints. >> peter tells karl to text some photos of the cards, and he'll take a look when he gets a chance. >> when i got that first picture, the first thing i thought of, "this is gonna be filed in a too-good-to-be-true folder," but they looked amazing, and i saw nothing about them that suggested they weren't real. so, i definitely -- the next plan was -- we talked about him sending me some sample of the cards. >> karl overnights eight cards to peter, with a note attached, saying, "call me before you open." when the box arrives at heritage auctions in dallas... >> i gave him a call, had him on the phone. >> and there's that moment of silence that feels like 10 minutes, but it's actually a matter of seconds. >> i opened up the box and i pulled out a large plastic holder. >> and then there's the, "oh [bleep] >> i was just floored, because i
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had no idea what a 100-year-old baseball card looked like brand-new. >> well, at that moment, i pretty much know that, "yeah, these are real." >> karl has one more bombshell. >> so, his next question is, "do you have any more?" "yes. hundreds." >> i would have been happy if it was just the eight cards. there was when you realized, "this is the find of a lifetime." >> karl dubs the cards the "black swamp find," after the nickname for this section of northwest ohio. they're quickly shipped to dallas on an armored truck and locked in the safety of a vault. the next step is to get each card officially graded on a scale of 1 to 10. karl goes with professional sports authenticator. i meet up with joe orlando, president of psa, at the national sports collectors
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convention for a crash course in grading baseball cards. why is this one only a 1? babe ruth cannot be just a 1. >> so, if you look at the card, you can see all of the defects. there's surface wear, multiple creases throughout the card. this is about as low as it can get. >> so, this one is higher. this is 8. is that considered mint? >> this is considered almost mint. but when you look really, really close, you can see very little, tiny white pieces of wear on each corner. and that's the difference between an 8, a 9, or a 10. >> those tiny imperfections can make a difference of thousands of dollars. >> if this is a psa 8, it's worth roughly, you know, $100 or so. if it were a 9, it's worth probably, you know, north of $1,000. and if it's a 10, it's worth north of $5,000. >> so, what about the black swamp find? do karl's cards make the grade? what was your reaction when you saw the first cards? >> it was just -- it was mind-blowing.
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>> before the black swamp find, the highest grade psa ever gave to a card in that series was a 7. karl's cards beat that in their first at-bat. >> it was a ty cobb and it graded a psa mint 9. little did we know that there were 15 more ty cobb 9s and, of course, hundreds of high-grade 8s, 9s, and even 10s in the set. >> sounds pretty good, right? not so fast. the collection doubles the known population of this type of card, and the unprecedented size and quality of the find could crash the baseball-card-collectors market. will karl's inheritance end up being too much of a good thing? >> if you were to flood the market with all of this at one time, it would certainly diminish the value of the entire find. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you.
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>> it's "b," $517,000 -- for a 1914 baltimore news ruth rookie card, sold in 2008. >> in 2012, in defiance, ohio, karl kissner discovers 800 vintage baseball cards in the attic of his old family home. most of the century-old cards remain in near-mint condition, which is rare among cards even half their age. before the collecting craze in
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the 1980s, cards were simply fun toys to be used in bike-wheel spokes or flipping games, like this one. so, i'm gonna toss a card, and it'll land either picture or stats. you're gonna toss a card. if you match my card, you get to keep my card and your card. if you don't, i get to go home with your cards. >> okay, let's do this. >> all right? here it goes. stats. >> stats up. >> picture. i'm a winner. >> you're a winner. >> fortunately for karl, his grandfather wasn't interested in such games, and the collection should easily be worth millions... if they play their cards right. you see, selling the so-called "black swamp find" all at once could flood the market and severely drive prices down. >> because of the size of the collection and the quantity involved, there was a lot of concern about the value. if there was one of each player,
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that would have been ideal. >> so heritage auctions proposes a series of separate sales to maximize the family's take. >> we decided the best way to do it is to take your time, sell them by the set over a number of years. >> karl runs the estate on behalf of the 20 grandchildren and divides the cards up into equal sets. each family member can either join a consortium to sell the cards or keep his share as a family heirloom. did anyone keep the cards? >> yes, yes. >> really? >> some of them did. >> but most family members agree to team up and sell the cards gradually. peter calderon tallies the numbers and comes up with what karl might expect, if all goes right -- nearly $3 million. for karl, it's a staggering sum. >> we're stunned. this is something we almost threw in a dumpster. >> in august 2012, in baltimore's camden yards
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ballpark, they put the first 37 cards up for auction. >> they were the best of the best. they were the best-graded cards out of all of them that we had graded. >> ladies and gentlemen, let's do lot 001. it's the 1910 e98. >> in bidding that's fast and furious, the family sees one lot of nine cards go for $40,000, a second lot of 27 cards goes for $286,000, but the real clean-up hitter of the night, the only psa gem-mint-10-graded card of hall of famer honus wagner in existence. auctioneer: >> $240,000 solid. i have the cut bid. anyone else? done! $240,000! >> we're flabbergasted. this is a wonderful gift from our grandfather and from our aunt. what more can you ask for? >> the family's total for the night?
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it's a very promising start, but they've also sold their best cards. does the black swamp find still have enough gas in it to get the hench grandchildren to their $3 million goal? that's next.
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> karl kissner and his family are slowly selling off their strange inheritance -- 800 rare vintage baseball cards. the collection is valued at around $3 million. an initial auction of their best cards has already brought in $566,000, and the family still has plenty of high-grade hall of famers to sell. in october 2012 and may 2013, two online auctions -- with some help from legendary manager connie mack -- rack up $419,000. then, in august 2013, in
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chicago, a psa 8 "miner" brown pitches in to help the team ring up another 228k. and in the big apple, in february 2014, a psa 8.5 johnny evers and mint 9 frank chance assist in a $300,000 haul. two more online auctions raise the total to $1.7 million. on july 31, 2014, i join karl and his cousin karla at the 35th national sports collectors convention in cleveland for their latest auction. >> we've got a fired-up crowd here tonight. what do you think, karl? >> it's exciting watching everybody and listening to the on-floor bids. you just -- you get into the feel of it, the mood of it. >> bid what you want. the last person standing with their hand in the air gets the item. >> apparently, people have money. >> apparently. [ both laugh ] >> and at the end of tonight,
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you may, too. up first for karl and karla tonight, the georgia peach. >> this is a 1910 e98 set of 30 ty cobb, black swamp find, psa mint 9. are you serious? yes, we are serious. $26,000. who's bidding 28 grand? $27,000 -- heritage live. $28,300. fair warning, anybody else. >> when the auctioneer kind of slows down like that, you know it's getting good. >> yeah. >> sold at at $28,000. >> congratulations, guys. that's awesome! >> give me five on that. yeah! >> now stepping up to the plate, a psa mint 9 honus wagner. >> go, honus. >> yay! come on. yeah, come on, honus, baby. >> 32 1/2 on heritage live. another bidder just jumped on. let's sell this thing. $33,000. >> the bidding ends at $33,750. >> yeah! very good! all right! >> their weekend earnings, including online sales, total $133,000, lifting the
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black swamp find total to $1.85 million. [ cheers and applause ] are you satisfied tonight? >> i'm ecstatic. and you know the person that's buying it wants it and appreciates it, and he's gonna add it to his collection. and maybe he'll pass it on to his family. >> a box stored and forgotten in the attic for over a century eventually changes a collectibles industry forever, along with the lives of the 20 hench grandchildren. so far, the black swamp find is like a slugger with 40 home runs at the all-star break -- well on track to surpass the goal set by peter calderon. >> there's still 10 more sets to sell, and we're still averaging almost $200,000 a set. >> and in the card-collecting market, the game's never over till the last man is out. what would grandpa say? >> i think grandpa would be stunned, amazed, and pleased. i'm sure that he is, 'cause i'm sure that the whole family is up there looking down with big
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smiles on their faces. >> was the black swamp find nearly history's most epic case of some guy's mom throwing out his baseball-card collection? karl thinks so. when he made his big discovery in the attic, he spied several wrinkled and grimy cards strewn among the rafters and the floorboards. karl believes that they went flying during one of his grandma jennie's cleaning purges, when she'd pitch boxes of junk right out the attic window into a big mound below. thank goodness she never got hold of that one box in the corner. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." thank you so much for joining us. and remember, you can't take it with you. do you have a "strange inheritance" story
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you'd like to share with us? we'd love to hear it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com. . jerry baker's interview with john bolton right here. from the fox studios in washington d.c. this is "maria bartiromo's wall street." bre happy weekend from washington. welcome to the program that analyzes the week that was and helps position you for the week ahead. i'm maria bartiromo. joining this week from washington d.c.. we have another star-studded program this week. coming up in a few moments capital market ceo doug mcgregor will give us his take on what was another wild week on wall street. then later one on one secretary stephen mnuchin is just ahead. hurst davis standing by with the big headlines from everything from wall street to main street, deirdre.

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