Saco River Auctions set a record in August for the sale of a 1888 Michael "King" Kelly card for $72,100, but auction house manager Troy Thibodeau said the Atlantics card should eclipse even that impressive sum.
"If the other one was a home run, this is a grand slam," Thibodeau said. "It will make huge waves in the industry."
Baseball trade cards began to appear in the late 1860s featuring individual players as both baseball and photography became more popular. The earliest trade cards are believed to have been distributed by Peck and Snyder, a sporting goods store in New York, as an advertising vehicle.
According to the Press Herald, the picker who discovered the card was looking for furniture at a yard sale, but instead found the photo album containing the baseball card in a woodshed.
A Boston-based photo conservator Paul Messier authenticated the card Monday in a process that took $700 and nearly 6 hours.
The card is a "carte de viste" a small photograph usually made of albumen print, mounted on thicker paper. It shows the ten players of the Atlantics, a team that was dominant in early baseball and won championships in 1861, 1864 and 1865.