The card that the Roman Catholic nuns were auctioning off through Heritage Auctions was in poor condition and only expected to bring in between $150,000 and $200,000. The card sold for $262,900. Antiques Trader reports that the winning bidder is a card shop owner who was touched by the story and bought the card even though the total price was probably more than the damaged card was worth. Heritage Auctions also donated its standard 15 percent seller's commission to the cause, as well. Money earned will benefit the nuns' ministries in 35 countries around the world.
The nuns came into possession of the card because the brother of a nun who died in 1999 left all his possessions to the order when he died earlier this year. The man's lawyer told the nuns that he had a Honus Wagner card in a safe-deposit box. Inside the box they found the card along with a note that said: "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!" The man had owned the card since 1936. In February 2007, a 'near mint-mint' Honus Wagner sold for $2.8 million.
The Heritage Auctions' Signature Sports Collectibles Auction on November 4 and 5 also included the sale of a New York Yankees home jersey worn by Hall of Fame first baseman Lou Gehrig during his first MVP season. It sold for $717,000, the highest price ever paid at auction for New York Yankees pinstripes.