An order of nuns in Baltimore is almost a quarter of a million dollars richer this week because of an old baseball card. The brother of a nun of the School Sisters of Notre Dame died early this year, leaving an old baseball card in his safe deposit box clipped with a note: "Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st Century!"
It was a 1909 Honus Wagner card. Mr. Wagner — a Pittsburgh Pirate and one of the first members of the Baseball Hall of Fame — was renowned for his grace and kidded for his barrel-legged physique. But what makes his 1909 T206 baseball card more valuable than gold, inch for inch, is that only about 60 are known to exist. Wayne Gretzky, the Hall of Fame hockey player, once owned a mint-condition T206 Wagner card that sold for $2.8 million, more than most diamonds. The Wagner card stored in the safe deposit box was creased, clipped and laminated, but still sold at auction this week for $262,000.
"Heavenly days!" Sister Muller of the Sisters of Notre Dame told The Baltimore Sun. "I just couldn't imagine it. I had never even heard of Honus Wagner!" The nuns say money from the sale will help support their teaching missions around the world.
"What makes something valuable?" posed NPR host Scott Simon. Basically, "The value of an item amounts to what someone is willing to pay for it."
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:6-8)