The $220,000 Baseball Card

What do you think: How would the School Sisters of Notre Dame, a Baltimore-based order of Roman Catholic nuns, celebrate the sale of their ultra-rare Honus Wagner baseball card for a cool $220,000?

Actually, don’t answer that question. It’s best left to the imagination.

According to The Associated Press, beacon of journalism, the T206 Honus Wagner card is “the most sought-after baseball card in history.” Produced between 1909 and 1911, only 60 of its like exist. Back in 2008, one in mint-condition sold for a whopping $2.8 million, the most loot ever dished out for a Cardboard God.

I know what you’re thinking: How the hell — please pardon the pun — did the School Sisters of Notre Dame end up with one of the cards? It was left to the order after the brother of a deceased nun passed on earlier this year. He’d held on to it since 1936.

For the bizarre story of what happened to the Wagner T206 after it was put up for auction, and how in the end it found its way into the hands of CARDiologist Dr. Nicholas DePace, I turn it over to the AP.

More importantly, have you ever had a look at Honus Wagner’s résumé? A career .414 wOBA, and 159 wRC+. What “The Flying Dutchman” did in 1908 was nothing short of absurd. Over his storied career, Wagner was worth 149.8 WAR. Jesus! (Sorry.)

Wagner also once famously said:

I don’t make speeches. I just let my bat speak for me in the summertime.

It spoke, alright. Loud enough for Wagner to rightfully become one of the first five men to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

Back to the Wagner T206. About Dr. DePace, who stepped up to the plate — that’s one pun I won’t apologize for — and bought the card after the original auction winner went AWOL, Sister Virginia Muller said it best:

God bless him.


Image courtesy The History Bluff.

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Navin Vaswani is a replacement-level writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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This story was just nunsense, Navin. Apologies. I’m not in the habit of using puns.