T206 Wagner with a heavenly calling …


   HONUS, GET THEE TO A NUNNERY – This will be kind of an odds and ends entry, maybe even edging up toward being a twitter or a flutter or maybe a fluff. You decide.
   Saw where Heritage Galleries is auctioning a rough condition T206 Honus Wagner card that is being sold by nuns, with the proceeds earmarked by the Baltimore-based School Sisters of Notre Dame to go to their ministries in 35 countries around the world.
   The Associated Press story noted that despite its poor condition the Wagner is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000; it’s already at $60,000 as I type this, with about a week or so left in the Heritage Signature Sports Collectibles Auction (closes Nov. 4-5).
   The card came from the brother of a nun who died in 1999 and left all his possessions to the order when he died earlier this year. The man’s lawyer reported that the man said he had a Honus Wagner card in a safe-deposit box.
   They found a typewritten note when the box was opened: “Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century.”
   The card is reportedly unknown to the market, since the man was said to have owned it since 1936.
   The AP story said the card has a big crease in the upper right-hand corner, and three of the white borders have been cut off. It has also been laminated. But even in poor condition, a T206 Wagner card is prized by collectors, said Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas. “The Wagner card is one of those that’s always sought-after, always desirable, and there’s not a big population of them. Even in a lower grade, they do have quite a bit of demand and command a strong price.”
   He ain’t kidding. I remember more than 10 years ago, probably closer to 12 or 13 years, I think, that Levi Bleam of 707 Sportscards had a bit of fun with a T206 Honus Wagner that was, uh, pretty seriously molested, detested and spatially contested. In short, it wasn’t all there, and what was there appeared to have been chewed upon, perhaps by a hamster who didn’t approve of smoking.
   Only about 40 percent of the card remains, but as I recall it still ended up selling for nearly $5,000, which I thought was remarkable at the time.
   Still do, come to think of it

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   I was seriously considering a round trip over the Thanksgiving holiday that would have taken me back to Upstate New York where I went to high school. The idea got nixed at the last minute simply because I didn’t want to upset my 86-year-old mother, who quite fairly likes to have the family together at those kinds of holidays.
   Mike Hauser, a well-regarded Central New York collector and show promoter, has been holding a Thanksgiving Show in Johnstown, N.Y., for 20 years now, which is pretty cool. I would have loved to have gone to such a show when I lived there, but I moved away all of  42 years ago, so I guess I just missed it.
   Twin Cities Sports Promotions will be bringing the Yankees’ 2010 No. 1 Draft Pick to appear at the Wednesday, Nov. 24 show (5 to 10 p.m.), which will be held at the Johnstown Moose Club, which is directly across the street from the Eagles Club, where I was a member in good standing and my father was a member in even better standing, mostly because he bought more drinks than just about anybody.
   Hauser said that Cito Culver is a shortstop who is being groomed to replace Derek Jeter upon his retirement. The enterprising Hauser has Culver signing autographs for three hours and has created a limited-edition lithograph to commemorate the signing.
   And of course he has 20-lb. turkeys for door prizes.For more event details, contact Hauser at (518) 725-5565, or visit the website at: www.tcsportspromotions.com.
   And if you go, stop by the Eagles Club on the other side of the street and mention my name. There may just be some old geezer still there who remembers me.

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