Baltimore sisters auctioning rare baseball card to raise mission funds

Honus Wagner Baseball Card CNA US Catholic News 10 27 10 The card being auctioned off by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. | Heritage Auction Galleries

A Baltimore-based group of religious sisters is auctioning off a rare baseball card to raise support for the community’s missions to the poor.

A member from Baltimore’s School Sisters of Notre Dame received the highly valued card featuring Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner in her deceased brother’s will.

Sister Virginia Muller told the Associated Press (AP) that the slightly damaged card of Wagner, one of only 60 that exist, was bequeathed to one of the sisters in a safety deposit box with a typewritten note explaining its value.

"It just boggles your mind," Sr. Muller said. "I can't remember a time when we have received anything like this."

A card in mint condition from the same early 1900s batch went for $2.8 million in 2007 – the highest price ever paid for a baseball card.  

Wagner, known as the “Flying Dutchman,” was one of the five original inductees into baseball's Hall of Fame and compiled a .328 batting average during his career.  

Although the sisters’ card is wrinkled and laminated, its estimated value is between $150,000 and $200,000.

Sr. Muller explained that the proceeds will go to the order’s mission work in 35 countries throughout the globe.

"The money that we receive from this card will be used for the many School Sisters of Notre Dame who are around the world, who need support for their ministries for the poor," Sr. Muller said.

The auction, taking place on the Heritage Auction Galleries website, ends Nov. 4. The highest bid as of Oct. 27 was $140,000.

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