St. Paul, Minn., Mar 11, 2021 / 00:53 am
A baseball card collection worth thousands of dollars was a split second away from being dropped into a trash can and disappearing forever in a landfill.
Father John Ubel, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, recalled that moment, which took place more than 15 years ago when he was transferred to a different priestly assignment and wanted to purge some of his belongings. He wasn’t sure what to do with a box containing hundreds of cards in mint condition from the 1970s, including Minnesota Twins players like Tony Oliva and Rod Carew.
“Every time you move assignments, it’s a great opportunity to divest yourself a bit,” he said. “I literally had them out at the trash, and changed my mind and brought them back in.”
Eventually, he began to add more to the collection, and now estimates its value at more than $25,000. Soon, he will make good on his urge to get rid of the cards. But this time, instead of a trash can, they will go to avid collectors, and the proceeds given to the Aim Higher Foundation, where he serves on the board of directors. The nonprofit organization gives scholarships to low-income students at Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Students are chosen to receive $1,000 every year they are enrolled in a Catholic school, all the way through eighth grade. The total per student can be as high as $9,000 if they qualify when they are in kindergarten.