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In Search Of Raccoons, N.J. Man Finds Vintage Baseball Card Collection In Apartment Wall

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- A New Jersey man found a treasure buried in the walls of his apartment.

It was hidden for decades and he discovered it by accident, CBS2's Matt Kozar reported Friday.

Rafael Torres discovered a treasure trove of nearly century-old baseball cards in the wall of his Jersey City apartment.

"When I finally realized what it was, I was like 'holy cow, these things could be worth serious money,'" Torres said.

Torres had been searching for raccoons in the attic when he said he dropped his phone behind a bedroom wall.

When he cut a hole in the sheetrock to get it back, he said he found the cards.

"All of the sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I see a Babe Ruth card, and I said 'no way; it can't be Babe Ruth,'" Torres said.

In all, Torres found 262 cards, featuring baseball players, boxers, presidents and even cartoons, dating back to the 1920s, Kozar reported.

Some were better condition than others.

"The collection is probably worth about $10,000," said Leighton Sheldon, owner of

Sheldon's company buys and sells vintage cards and memorabilia. He examined photos of Torres' collection and said if it was in pristine condition it would be worth $100,000.

Sheldon said the cards were printed on sheets as a way to market them to kids.

"If you went to the store and bought a strip of let's say 10 cards, it's kind of fun for a kid to go home, cut them out nice and neatly, play with them and trade them and such," Sheldon said.

The Babe Ruth cards are worth the most, Sheldon said.

"If I can get $10,000, plus my income taxes next year, I'm out of here. I can move back to Florida," Torres said.

Thank goodness for those raccoons.

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