“Right now the card market is soaring,” he said. “I find much more security in having the world’s first baseball card. This is America’s game. Abraham Lincoln is said to have gone to see the Brooklyn Atlantics play baseball. The history of the sport all comes from those roots of the Brooklyn Atlantics.”
LeBlanc believes the card is worth considerably more than he paid for it and is confident that at some point — now, a year or several years in the future — he will sell it and use the money to better Alex’s life and the lives of other children.
“I do believe that someone will call, someone will want this,” he said. “There’s so much nostalgia behind it. This is the birth of the game.”
Alex, who attends the special needs program at Brown School in Newburyport, battles something similar to Angelman’s syndrome. He’s developmentally delayed, is able to speak just a handful of words and relies on a feeding tube to eat. He has trouble walking, with his muscles unable to support his bone structure, often resulting in fractures and breaks. He’s also battled a seizure disorder, which had been life-threatening for a time, but has been brought under control with the assistance of medications.
“There have been a lot of scares in life when I thought I was going to lose the last of everything in my life,” LeBlanc said. “His ability to make anyone smile is like nothing else in life. He’s a tremendous gift. I’m blessed in a lot of ways. Alex is truly an angel.”
LeBlanc’s dream is to start a foundation, perhaps named Sarah’s Kids, in his wife’s memory to help provide medical care and support to other children facing life challenges. It would be fitting, LeBlanc says, given his wife was a speech therapist who worked with autistic children.