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tv   Stossel  FOX Business  April 14, 2017 9:00pm-10:01pm EDT

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there's also plenty more information and videos on our website, [ woman vocalizing ] >> it stands in the way. >> it's just her house in the middle of the block. >> she won't sell out. >> the 84-year-old seen here turned down $1 million payout. >> he's caught in the middle. >> i promised her that i wouldn't let them take her away. >> that's a really big promise. >> what's "up" with that? >> people from all over the country and even around the world have stopped by this house. >> they put balloons on the house, and that's how it became the "up" house. >> it is amazing. i can't believe that she held out. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪
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>> i'm jamie colby, and today, i'm in seattle, headed toward the ballard neighborhood. it's an upscale area once known for sawmills and commercial fishing, and just down the road is one man's strange inheritance and a story with a hollywood ending. >> my name's barry martin. i inherited a tiny, hundred-year-old house from a little old lady. if there ever was a real-estate niche, this is one. >> hi, barry. i'm jamie. >> hi, jamie. nice to meet you. >> i meet barry in front of this little house. yep, this is it -- his strange inheritance. it's just 600 square feet, and it's now surrounded by a huge shopping mall -- a mall that the unlikely heir in this story helped build. >> who leaves this to somebody? >> well, edith left it to me. >> edith? >> yep. >> love to learn more. >> okay. come on. >> barry explains that when this house was built over a hundred years ago, ballard, washington,
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was the shingle-mill capital of the world, with 20 mills producing 3 million shingles a day. >> there was fishing on elliot bay there, and the shingle-mill industry, all along shilshole avenue here. >> cass o'callaghan from the ballard historical society tells me more. did the neighborhood really change over the years? >> in about the late '30s, early '40s, the commercial district moved north and businesses moved out. nobody wanted to be here anymore. >> with the exception, that is, of edith macefield and her retired single mother, alice wilson. edith's early life is a bit mysterious. we know she was born in august 1921, and that her parents divorced shortly thereafter. during her 20s, edith disappears -- to england, she says, where she seems to have gotten married once or thrice. but, again, it's hard to tell fact from fiction.
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[ camera shutter clicks ] by the 1950s, she's back in ballard, single, and working as a store manager for spic 'n span dry cleaners. edith buys this house for her mother and the two name it whitewood cottage. edith is able to pay off the $3,700 mortgage in just a few years. in her off hours, she babysits for next-door neighbor gayle holland. hi, gayle. you know why i'm here -- to hear about edith. >> i've got a lot to tell you. come on in. our street was very quiet and edith would play games with us. >> so she was older, but she loved to hang out with children? >> oh, yes. everybody liked edith. she would play her saxophone or her trumpet outside. we would sit and listen to her, and she'd let us blow on her instruments. >> what a character! they ask her about her past, and, oh, the stories she tells. >> i know she had a son who died
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of meningitis. >> edith shares only a few sketchy details -- that the boy was born out of wedlock, that his father was jewish, that james macefield, a much older englishman, married her to help save the boy from the nazis. it's all very complicated. you see, edith was spying on hitler for britain at the time. is it all true? who knows? gayle just loves hanging out with her eccentric neighbor, until her family, like so many others, abandons the area. so, you left and edith stayed. >> yes. it was the early '60s when we moved away. >> in 1976, edith's mother, alice, passes away on the couch in the front room. not long after, edith retires and spends her days watching greta garbo videos and listening to big bands on vinyl. more and more, whitewood cottage stands apart -- her oasis amid
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urban blight. by the '90s, homeless -- living in parked cars -- provide an edgy backdrop for the grunge-rock scene. but all the while, developers are slowly gobbling up edith's neighborhood, says real-estate broker paul thomas. >> each time a parcel came up on the market, they'd just quietly acquire it and let it sit in an llc, and they assembled the whole entire block, except for her house. >> it's in early 2006 when edith gets the knock at her door. it's a representative of kg investment management, which wants to put up a shopping mall. the developer makes a proposal they think the 84-year-old can't refuse -- $750,000! what do you think the house was worth? >> $150,000. [ chuckles ] it wasn't worth very much. >> edith could buy five whitewood cottages. even so, she does refuse the offer.
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and the bulldozers roll around her. >> i have a picture when they tore everything down in the whole block and it was just her house in the middle of the block. >> reporters catch wind of the story and turn edith into a local folk hero -- a steadfast champion against yuppification, standing up for seattle's old neighborhoods, defying the encroaching chain boutues, food courts, and those $6 lattes. that's how they portray edith. and that's exactly who barry martin expects when he becomes construction manager of the mall. how did you meet edith? >> i always go visit the neighbors and give them my card so that if they have any problems, they know who to get ahold of, and i walked past her yard and introduced myself. she was actually very pleasant and said she was looking forward to the activity. >> turns out, edith wasn't watching garbo flicks because she "vanted to be alone."
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that becomes clear with edith's beauty-shop appointment. she needs a ride, so she calls barry. not exactly what he was thinking when he dropped off his card, but what the heck? he drives her. they get to talking. >> a lot of people thought that she was against development, and that wasn't the case at all. it was more she just didn't want to go through the exercise of having to move. >> indeed, edith actually makes fun of the anti-development types, who, among other things, are trying to get landmark status for the local denny's. edith's view -- things get built, things get torn down. that's the way of the world. it wouldn't be their last car talk. soon, barry's co-workers call him "driving miss daisy." could you rattle off for me some of the errands you were asked to do for her? >> i would take her laundry out to be done. we would go get her lunch. i would take her to all of her doctor's appointments. >> she didn't pay you. >> no. she just needed it.
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>> you're not a saint. >> nope. >> but his wife and two high-school-age children surely have the patience of job, when barry spends more and more time at edith's. >> i made her meals three times a day, seven days a week. on the weekends, basically, i'd stay there, and if not, then i had made sure that somebody else was there. >> barry isn't there one night when edith falls and lands in the hospital with broken ribs and a platoon of social workers insisting she should no longer live alone. then tag-teaming executives from the development company show up again with a deed ready to sign and another big fat check. >> they offered he$1 million and actually offered to buy a house for her in ballard and she refused that, also. >> $1 million for a little old granny and a new house in her neighborhood, and she says no. >> yes. >> what would you have done?
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>> i would have probably taken the money and had somebody fanning me with big feathers and feeding me figs. >> the 84-year-old seen here turned down $1 million payout. >> it just adds to the edith macefield legend -- a story that can't help but go national. what's infuriating barry is that he believes he's cast as one of the black hats, trying to manipulate old edith into selling out. the truth, he says, is just the opposite. >> i promised her that, um, i wouldn't let them take her away and that she could stay there and die in her house. >> that's a really big promise. >> it is. and it became a lot bigger deal than, you know, i had originally anticipated. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question -- where was america's first indoor shopping mall built?
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>> it's "b" -- minnesota. the southdale center in edina, the country's first fully-enclosed, climate-controlled mall, opened in 1956. >> in 2008, 86-year-old
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edith macefield and her whitewood cottage stand in the way of a shopping mall. barry martin's job is to build that mall. but he's also made it his life's work to keep edith in her home. barry didn't even know edith two years before. now he just doesn't know what to make of her. >> she had a lot of stories to tell and she never really finished a story. >> but, boy, the way she drops names, you'd think she's forrest gump. like hitler -- she met him several times, ended up in a concentration camp, and was sprung by the fuhrer himself. benny goodman -- her cousin, she claimed -- he gave her her clarinet. tommy dorsey, the band leader -- once, when he was shor she bought his sax. mickey rooney -- she taught him dance steps. and so on. barry has one thought -- edith's a wack job. >> i was thinking "crazy old
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lady" for a while. >> but in the winter of 2007, edith's health suddenly declines. just as suddenly, the construction manager finds himself doing things he really never signed up for -- helping edith shower, use the bathroom, take her medicine, including insulin shots. a big question occurs to barry -- what happens when the mall is done and he moves to another job? what happens if edith lives to 100? that won't happen. in april 2008, edith is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. she declines treatment and, knowing she'll soon need someone else to make her decisions, gives barry her power of attorney. it's a big responsibility. did you really want it? >> i didn't really want it, and i didn't really understand exactly what all it meant. >> uh-oh. >> yeah, uh-oh. i said, "do you understand the power you're giving me?" and she said, "why do you think i chose you?" >> did you know all along that you were going to get that house?
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>> no. i didn't know until after she asked me to become her power of attorney. then she said that she wanted to redo her will at that same time. >> barry's a bit sheepish, knowing many suspect him of aning for the house from the beginning. but that's her wish -- like her desire to die on the same couch as her mother three decades earlier. and on june 15, 2008, death does come -- as a friend -- to whitewood cottage. >> i promised her that i wouldn't let them take her away and that she could stay there and die in her house. >> does it make you emotional? >> it does. >> why? >> um... because i got to help her end her life the way she wanted to. >> the little house in the big mall is now barry's.
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but soon he'll discover that, thanks to a hollywood blockbuster, edith macefield fans will claim it as their own. >> there were people out on the sidewalk taking pictures and leaving little notes and putting up balloons with messages on them. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. you've met barry martin, the construction manager in this story. the answer after the break. dear predictable, there's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake,
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heir in this "strange inheritance" story. >> it's spring 2009, and barry martin is trying to figure out what to do with his strange inheritance -- a house he helped build a mall around. the owner, edith macefield, had died the year before, and barry assumes memories of her will fade, too. but then disney comes a-calling. it's ready to release an animated feature called "up." it's about a crotchety old man who, just like edith, refuses to sell his house to a developer. disney wants to use edith's house to promote the film. >> they wanted to put balloons on the house for their premiere here in seattle, so they came out and put balloons on the house and took a picture and that's how it became the "up" house. >> did you think it was a good idea? >> i thought it was rather funny, myself, and then after i saw the movie, there's actually some photographs that look very similar to the picture in the movie.
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>> soon, edith's cottage and that of character carl fredricksen are associated as one. >> there were people out on the sidewalk taking pictures and leaving little notes and putting up balloons with messages on them. >> and inspirational, it sounds like. >> very. inspirational different people for different reasons. kids loved it because they thought it was really the house from the movie. you'd see grown-ups crying on the sidewalk. >> she stuck to her guns, you know, even though she could have made a ton of money. >> this woman was kind of the last holdout. she wanted to keep her home, and that's huge. >> it's amazing. i can't believe that she held out. >> but by the time the movie "up" comes out, the nation is in a downer -- the great recession. and barry's real life is anything but a storybook fantasy. >> that was right about when we had our downturn. i was out of work. >> so, barry decides it's time to sell edith's house. she once turned down $1 million for the place, but the window on that offer closed long ago.
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>> did she tell you she would be okay with you selling it? >> oh, yeah, and she told me to hold out until i got my price. >> what did you sell it for? >> i sold it for $310,000. [ cash register dings ] >> what did you do with the money, may i ask? >> paid for my kids to go to school. i invested the money and got money back monthly, and it made my house payment. >> that's not nothing. plus, barry says the new owners planned -- in the spirit of "up" -- to raise edith's house 20 feet off the ground and make a public tribute to her below. but they run out of money, and the house falls into foreclosure. >> what was your role in all this? >> i was hired by the bank to sell the house for them. >> the bank includes a provision in the face of pressure from local community groups who want an homage to their folk hero. >> one of the terms of the sale was that each person was required to memorialize edith in some way. >> 38 offers come in, but it's the 39th that wins --
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at $450,000. [ cash register dings ] the buyer? the same folks who offered edith $1 million years before -- kg investments, now the manager of the shopping mall. they plan to knock the house down, eventually. so, ultimately, edith's house we to the orzation that wanted to buy it all along. >> well, it's kind of neat in a way because she got what she wished for and the shopping center ended up being able to buy the property at a lot lower price than they originally had offered. >> will they do anything to remember edith? >> the ownership has committed that they'll put up a brass plaque that memorializes edith. >> it will be just one more way the ballard community pays tribute to its folk hero. there's also an annual edith macefield music festival. ♪ you can even get a tattoo of edith's house with the legend underneath -- "steadfast." for the heir in this "strange inheritance" episode,
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that's further proof edith was misunderstood. maybe even, he'd discover, by himself. >> you must have learned an awful lot about edith once you started to go through her things. >> i learned a lot more than she had let me know. 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 -- i just want to find a used car without getting ripped off. start at the new show me used trucks with one owner. pretty cool. [laughs] ah... ahem... show me the carfax. start your used car search at the all-new
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> barry martin doesn't just inherit edith macefield's home, but everything else she owned. >> wow, you must have learned an awful lot about edith, once you started to go through her things. >> i learned a lot more than she had let me know. >> and enough to question whether all her stories were as wacko as he once thought. >> did she have a vivid imagination, or do you think most of it was real? >> i'm a little -- i'm not
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quite -- >> you still don't know. >> i still don't know. exactly. >> what did you find? well, evidence that she was benny goodman's cousin -- this album, inscribed "your cousin, benny goodman." and quite personal notes from a-list actors -- clark gable, katharine hepburn, spencer tracy, and errol flynn. >> there's charlie chaplin. there's tommy and jimmy dorsey. >> okay, okay -- nothing about meeting hitler or being a spy. still, it dawns on barry that the most valuable thing edith bequeathed to him could be her story -- now his. >> i had an agent contact me about writing a book, and she actually talked me into doing it. >> you ever write a book before? >> no, never written a book before, and she got me a ghostwriter, and we did it that way. >> what's the story? >> the story is basically about edith and myself and our little adventure and then the lessons that i learned.
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>> "under one roof" gets barry a $75,000 advance from the publisher. and that's not all. >> actually in the process of making a deal with fox searchlight. >> did you ever think you'd be making a book and a movie about all this? >> no. i just about fall down on the floor laughing because it's hysterical to me. >> i think it could work. i'm picturing a "driving miss daisy" type of guy meets a female forrest gump and they go on a real-life "up" adventure. and definitely got to give john ratzenberger the lead. there's a scene in the movie "up" that sounds exactly like one edith might have had with barry. carl fredricksen, the man whose house the real-estate company wants to buy, says to the construction foreman, "tell your boss he can have my house." "really?" asks the foreman. "yeah, when i'm dead," growls carl and slams the door.
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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. >> a ball club older than mighty casey... >> they were recognized as the best team of the 1860s. >> their 155-year-old baseball card... >> we are looking at a very significant piece of baseball history here. >> and she's looking at a very strange inheritance. >> he's my great-great-uncle on my dad's side. >> which one is he? >> now here's the payoff pitch. >> one of the big ones. this was a family heirloom. >> will there be joy in mudville... >> he was looking for a piece of the action, but i didn't know that. >> ...with jamie at the bat? [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪
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>> i'm jamie colby, and i'm in the berkshire mountains on my way to great barrington, massachusetts. i'm meeting a woman whose ancestor played on one of the great teams in the early days of baseball. his picture is on her strange inheritance, which may just be the worls oldest basebl card. >> my name is florence sasso. my great-great-uncle archibald mcmahon was a member of the 1860s atlantic nine baseball team. i inherited this card from my mother when she passed away. >> hi. i'm jamie. >> hi. i'm florence. >> heard you have a great story and a very strange inheritance. also heard you're a new york girl. >> yes. >> i'm from queens. >> i'm a brooklyn girl. >> uh-oh. 75-year-old flo lives alone and runs an electrolysis business from her house. what a lovely home. she explains that fate has handed her a very unusual
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inheritance in the f of a 2 1/2-by-4-inch antique baseball card. oh, my goodness. is this what i think it is, florence? may i touch it? >> sure. >> look at the players. 1860. >> before the civil war. >> and a relative of yours is in here? >> my great-great-uncle archibald mcmahon is in here. >> which one is he? >> we don't know. it hasn't been identified. >> well, can you make a guess on which one he might be? is there any resemblance to you or your parents? >> no. i couldn't figure it out. i was just looking at the ears, because that side of the family had big ears. >> who were the brooklyn atlantics? >> i think it's the oldest baseball team in history in brooklyn. ♪ >> at least one of the oldest, says ed elmore, captain of today's incarnation of the brooklyn atlantics. so brooklyn atlantics started when? >> they played a long time.
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they were recognized as the best team of the 1860s. >> baseball before the civil war? you can look it up. the first officially recorded game is actually played in 1846. and within 15 years, the sport is on the verge of a boom. these guys practicing today in long island, new york, use the same rules and equipment as old archibald did back then. was pitching different? >> the first 40 years, actually, of baseball was underhand pitching. for the first 20 years, if a ball was caught on a bounce it was an out. it was thought of as a gentlemen's game at the very beginning just by who was playing, not necessarily by how they played. >> so who is archie mcmahon? a butcher in brooklyn is about all flo knows. that's a sign of how organized baseball is evolving and becoming more democratic. it's no longer just a game played by wealthier men -- doctors, lawyers, and bankers.
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and although flo can't identify which one of these gentlemen is that great-great-uncle on her father's side, we can i.d. couple of his teammates. at far left is chris smith. two men to the right is shortstop dickey pearce, who's credited with inventing the bunt. looks like a straitjacket. baseball uniforms have really changed over the years. i can see why. got to love this cap, though. take me out to the ballgame. so this is the bat. i see they're not playing with gloves. what about the balls? >> well, i have just the man to talk to for that. wild horse. >> wait. wild horse? >> that's his nickname. he runs the bases with wild abandon. >> you make those? >> i start with a rubber center, two cords of yarn. everything was handmade.
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>> ready? >> all right. >> really? oh, no. no gloves. aah! oh. it didn't hurt that bad. have you heard of the name archibald mcmahon? >> he's listed in the roster of the 1860 atlantics. actually, he played center field, and he tted third. so that's an iication he was one of the better hitters. >> after the 1860 season, however, he becomes a bit of an enigma. he may have played for a pro team in manhattan, but census records after the civil war show him working as a butcher in san francisco. after that, his only appearance in the public record is a mention in the 1928 obituary of his younger brother, john, a civil war veteran. >> in the obituary, it talks about his brother, how he loved baseball. >> the obituary reads, "he had a picture in his home of the
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original atlantics team, of which his brother, archibald mcmahon, was a member." when they mention it in an obit, you know the card is a true family heirloom. flo's father, joseph, is 17 years old when his uncle john dies. it becomes his strange inheritance. but it's his wife, mildred, who keeps it safe in their brooklyn home. >> my mother had had it in a fanny farmer box in a secret drawer in a piece of our furniture. >> when florence grows up, she moves to massachusetts, gets married, and then divorced. over time, the family is drawn back together by old age and illness. eventually, flo convinces her parents to move up to massachusetts and live with her. >> the fellow i was dating at the time was an architect, and he designed an addition for us. >> how much did that cost? >> $125,000. >> did you have that money? >> no. i had to remortgage the house. >> flo's dad dies in 1995.
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her mom, mildred, inherits the card. mildred is well aware flo has gone into debt and wishes she could help. but it never strikes her that she has the means until great-great-uncle archibald comes up in a genealogy class at the senior center. so he suggested that that card could be worth what? that's next. >> but first, r "strange inheritance" quiz question. who in 1888 declared baseball "the american game"? queen victoria of england, indian chief sitting bull, or poet walt whitman? the answer in a moment. rodney and his new business.
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♪ >> so, who first declared baseball "the american game"? if you picked walt whitman, you're right. in 1888, he wrote... [ crowd cheering ] >> long before the brooklyn dodgers and ebbets field, these guys, known as the atlantics nine, are kings of that borough's diamonds. this 155-year-old picture of the team has been passed down in florence sasso's family ever since. one of the team's stars, archibald mcmahon, was her great-great-uncle.
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flo's mom, mildred, is caretaker of the card for years. she keeps it squirreled away in a candy box and takes it with her when she moves into flo's house in great barrington, massachusetts. but neither she nor her daughter knows which guy in the picture is uncle archie. what'd she tell you about it? >> she said, "put this in with your genealogy." >> in the spring of 2015, flo's been digging into their family background at the free genealogy program at the local senior center. so do you bring the card to show the class? >> i brought the card to the senior center. he said, "oh, my god. it's perfect." >> "he" is volunteer steve strommer, who runs the class. >> my interest in genealogy stted a long time ago. but it's taken on a life of its own, and is pretty much an obsession. we couldn't find too much on archibald. but that was a very old card. and she said, "how much is
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this?" and i said, "well, i'll see if i can find out." >> are you thinking to yourself, "i really have something valuable here"? >> yes, i did. >> especially after steve spots on the internet an 1865 brooklyn atlantics card. it had gone for $92,000 at auction in 2013. florence's card is five years older and may be even more valuable. >> i used to wonder, "why do people jump up and down when something exciting happens?" and here i was doing that. >> pushing 101, flo's mother, mildred, isn't quite jumping up and down. but if she can help pay off the addition flo built for her, she's definitely up for some moneyball. florence, who has no children to pass the card on to, is game as well. that's when steve strommer suggests contacting an auction house. on your behalf? >> yes. he made the connection. >> i was just, you know, doing my job, just trying to facilitate getting
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this card in the right hands. >> strommer takes the photo home, scans it, and sends it to chris ivy, who specializes in sports memorabilia at heritage auctions in dallas. >> when the first e-mail came in with images, i showed it to one of my other experts. and we thought, "it looks right from the images, and we are looking at a very significant piece of baseball history here." the photo was in good shape. and the overall condition of the card is very strong. >> of course, it's not exactly the kind of card later generations will collect with bubble gum and wax packs. >> there was no bubble gum involved with this card, no. i don't think bubble gum was around, actually, until the early 1900s. it's considered a carte de visite, a cdv. >> a carte de visite, or cdv, was more like a business card or a souvenir handout at a time when photography was still a novelty. >> i think it was because they and were proud of that andleague wanted something to commemorate
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it. >> while chris and his team evaluate the card, florence feels steve's way off base. he's taken control not only of the process but the card itself. i think this next part of the story goes under the heading "don't mess with a girl from brooklyn." >> was he looking for a piece of the action? >> he was looking for piece of the action, but i didn't know that. i went down to his house, and i said, "my mother would like to have the photograph back." and he said, "oh, it's safe with me." and i said, "no, and i'd like to give you some money for the work that you did at home." and he said no. >> if there was any disconnect, it was with flo, who, i guess, wanted to know if i was going to charge her anything. and she kept asking me quite often, you know, "keep track of your hours." >> i said, "just give me back the picture." >> and then, she would say, "i have to talk to my lawyer," and all of that. and i said, "fine with me." >> you had to get that card back. >> yes.
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>> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. it's a timeworn tradition, but who was the first president to invite a professional baseball team to the white house? was it coolidge, taft, or grant? the answer in a moment. your insurance company
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♪ >> so, who was the first president to invite a professional baseball team to the white house? it's ulysses s. grant. the cincinnati red stockings, the first professional team, were grant's guests in june 1869. >> spring 2015, great barrington, massachusetts, and life's thrown florence sasso a curveball. she's in a feud with steve strommer, the genealogy instructor
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at her local senior center. >> and i went to the doctor. they doubled my blood-pressure medication 'cause i was so upset about him. >> she's taken a family heirloom, this 1860 baseball card of the brooklyn atlantics, which includes her great-great-uncle archibald mcmahon, and given it to steve. it may be the oldest baseball card in existence. and he's researching its value. but it appears to florence that he doesn't want to give it back. >> you went yourself to the gentleman's house to get it? >> yes. he really wanted to hold on to it. but i didn't trust him with it. >> so essentially, he was trying to help you. he just wanted to be paid. >> yes. >> i may have half tongue-in-cheek, half joking, said, "well, i'm your agent. 10%." but i wasn't really gonna charge her with that. >> you didn't want to pay him. >> i was going to give him a generous gift. but you're not allowed to give them even five cents if they're
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a volunteer of the town. >> at this point, both steve and florence learned that town employees may not receive additional income from their official duties. >> the interaction that was going on about being reimbursed was prior to my knowledge about the ethics of town employees taking money. >> so steve gives the photo back to florence. having benched steve, she reaches out herself to heritage auctions. a representative flies to massachusetts to bring the card in for authentication. heritage shows up at your house. >> within 24 hours. >> but while the auction house gets to work, flo's mother is admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. >> may 13th. she was 100 and sound of mind right till the end. and every night, she would just say, "thank you for taking care of me," and then a big smile, and she'd say, "did we get the money yet?" >> later that day, mildred sasso passes on. and what may be the world's oldest baseball card is now
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florence's strange inheritance. it doesn't take long to confirm the card is real. >> given the fact that it was in florence's family for nearly 160 years, that's great provenance. and provenance is always key. >> the 1928 obituary of archibald's brother, john, provides a crucial piece of evidence of the card's authenticity. >> that newspaper obituary noted that john was an ardent fan of baseball and he had an original photo of the brooklyn atlantics. so that obituary was referring to this very card. >> remember the 1865 brooklyn atlantics card that sold for $92,000? that kind of money would go a long way to paying off the debt flo incurred when she took in her parents. is her card in that ballpark? chris ivy thinks it is and knows exactly where to find out. >> one of the big ones.
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this was a family heirloom. >> that's next. so is this. all right. let's send one down the pike. let's see what you got. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website -- dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores wherbactia can multiply. polident kills 99.99of odorcaa and helps dissolve stains. so dentures are cleaner, fresher, and brighter polident.
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champion. ♪ >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> in 1860, florence sasso's great-great-uncle and his teammates on the brooklyn atlantics posed for this photo. 155 years later, it may be the oldest baseball card in existence. florence is about to learn just how valuable that makes it. the auction house estimates its value at 50 grand-plus. that would help cover the $125,000 she spent remodeling her home to make room for her elderly parents.
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then again, another brooklyn atlantics card recently went for $92,000. an extra 40 grand would really help. in july 2015, enthusiasts from around the country gather in chicago for the national sports collectors convention. >> $9,500. now to $10,000. where are my cubs fans now? >> the highlight of the auction -- flo's 2 1/2-by-4-inch strange inheritance featuring the pre-civil war brooklyn atlantics. >> one of the big ones. this was a family heirloom. >> how proud are you when you see your family card in a catalog? >> everybody was so excited because they didn't know about baseball before the civil war. >> and it was a bit of brooklyn that you could bring to this town. >> that's right. >> you can follow the auction online, but florence is having computer problems. even so, she feelshe same nervous anticipation palpae in that room. >> earliest known team card that we're aware of.
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what do we have for lot 009? >> $70,000. >> $70,000. this is gonna go big. $70,000. now to go to $75,000. >> from the start, the bidding is fierce. >> we've got captains of industry and people that are millionaires, billionaires. it's just people that have a passion to collect things. >> $85,000. now to bid $90,000. $95,000 to you, sir. i go you. $100,000. now to $110,000. >> like a sandy koufax fastball, the bidding quickly blows away the $50,000 estimate. >> $110,000. now to $120,000. this is really a smithsonian-type piece here. $120,000. now to $130,000. >> most collectors go into a live auction with a game plan. but you can get enthralled with the moment. so, you know, throw caution to the wind and start bidding. >> $130,000. now to $140,000. $150,000. now to $160,000. you want $155,000? you gonna walk away for five grand? $150,000. i've got it right here. who's gonna beat him? $150,000. anyone else? $150,000. bid $160,000? who's gonna beat him? anyone else now? anyone else?
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to white. $150,000. [ applause ] thanks very much. >> after the auction house commission is added, it brings the total to $179,000. and the winning bidder? >> a well-known 19th-century collector, but he didn't want to be revealed. >> the good news comes to florence from a surprising source. >> how'd you learn about it selling? >> steve, the genealogist, was following it on the internet. >> i saw the very end of the bidding for the card. and i called up flo right away and said, "this is great." >> and he called to say it was sold for $179,000. >> that beats flo's wildest expectations. >> i was just hoping to clear my mortgage, actually. >> so basically, the money that you'll get from your family card will help you defer the cost of taking care of mom and dad. >> almost to the penny. >> are you resolved now
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that whatever happened in the past is the past? >> absolutely. >> it worked out okay? >> i'm very happy. >> so is steve strommer, that he and flo are friends again. >> we're like brother and sister, basically. you know, she comes in. we'll go through a little bit of genealogy, find what happened to archibald mcmahon. >> and maybe someday they'll even figure out which one of these guys really is old uncle archie. so what ever became of the old brooklyn atlantic dynasty? up until 1869, all the players were amateurs. two years later, the national association of professional base ball players was formed. but the atlantics couldn't afford the cost of the new league, so they didn't join. some of their best players took a walk and signed up with pro teams. i don't get to walk. i got to hit the ball. all right. let's send one down the pike. let's see what you got.
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oh. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." and remember -- you can't take it with you. that's our show. thanks for watching. >> what does it take to police america? >> they're banging and screaming on the door. >> he's standing over me with an assault rifle. >> now some americans are mad and pushing back against authority. >> what are you placing me under arrest for? >> some are upset the government spies on us. >> what you do on your cell phone is none of their damn business. >> i can't understand what rand paul is yelling about. >> today, after all, any can spy on any. >> that was pretty cool until he started taking pictures of my wife over there. > >> i could do it if i could just ntrol t dr


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