Nuns Receive Hail Mary in the Form of One of the World’s Most Valuable Baseball Cards
Sister Virginia Muller didn't know who Honus Wagner was when she received an unexpected baseball card donation. After doing some research, she came to the conclusion that the card she had in her possession was an extremely valuable card, in fact you would be hard pressed to find a more valuable card than the holy grail of cardboard known as the Honus Wagner T206.
Muller and her order, the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame recently sent the legendary Wagner to auction, which despite it's poor condition is expected to command around $150,000. The proceeds from the auction will be dispersed among the 35 world wide branches of their ministry.
The 1909-1911 Honus Wagner T-206 is one of the rarest baseball cards in the world, only 60 are currently known to exist. In 2007, a near mint version sold for $2.8 Million, which was the highest a card has every sold for. Muller is shocked that a small rectangular piece of cardboard could command so much money.
"It just boggles your mind," Muller told The Associated Press. "I can't remember a time when we have received anything like this."
The brother of a nun who died back in 1999 left all his possessions to the order when he himself passed earlier this year. The man's lawyer told Muller he had a baseball card waiting for her in safe-deposit box.
When they opened the box, they found the tobacco card flanked by a typewritten note reading: "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!"
The existence of the card was not known in the sports-memorabilia world due to the fact that the man had owned it since 1936.
The card features a large crease in the upper right-hand corner and three of the white borders have been cut off. If that wasn't enough, the card is laminated. Despite the extremely poor condition of the card, it will still undoubtedly lead to a six-figure sale price.
One of the primary reasons the card is so valuable has to do with cigarettes. Early 20th century tobacco companies used the cards to encourage youth smoking. After Wagner voiced concern over the cards use, it's production quickly came to a halt. The rest of the story is history.
Currently, the rare Wagner has reached $60,000 and is being auctioned by Heritage Gallery Auctions. Bidding closes on November 4th.