TAMPA, Fla. — Of the thousands of baseball cards in Dr. Thomas Newman’s collection, experts say one card is the crown jewel.
A 1933 Babe Ruth card, in near perfect condition.
It’s expected to sell for a sports card record of more than $5 million in an online auction now underway.
Newman bought the card for $20,000.
“There are a lot of big-time collectors out there that are striving to have the best. And if you want the best, it doesn’t get much better than that," said Memory Lane Inc. owner JP Cohen.
Memory Lane is the company hosting the auction for the Newman family.
“I’ve been fortunate to help him build his collection over the last 20 years and get to know him personally. So putting aside what an amazing collection he had, he was an amazing guy," said Cohen.
Newman was a Tampa neurologist who ran marathons, played the piano and developed a passion for collecting cards.
“He called him his paper babies," said his wife Nancy.
Nancy showed us the safe where he kept his prized collection valued at at least $20 million.
Thomas died in January from complications caused but COVID-19.
“It’s been a tough year, but the auction is actually pretty exciting for the family and to see all of Tom’s treasures looked at from people all over the world," said Newman.
Along with many rare cards, there is a baseball with film footage actually showing the moment when Babe Ruth autographed it for a young boy in 1929.
“It’s now time for someone else to take the baton and take these one-of-a-kind pieces and enjoy them," said Cohen.
The auction is online at memorylaneinc.com and will be open until July 10.
“He would have never asked for this kind of attention. He was a quite humble man. But I hope he’s looking down and really smiling," said Newman.