Minnesota priest auctions off baseball card assortment for charity

Father John Ubel is auctioning off his 50 most valuable baseball cards

2021-02-23 00:23:24

Ubel, a lifelong Minnesota Twins fan and the rector at St. Paul’s Cathedral, started gathering baseball playing cards in 1970, when he was in first grade. Since then, he has saved round 2,000 playing cards, and he plans to public sale 50 of probably the most invaluable to lift cash for the Goal Greater Basis, a corporation that provides tuition help to native college students enrolled at Catholic faculties.

“I used to be in a dialog with anyone in regards to the pandemic and faculties,” mentioned Ubel. “And somebody used the phrase that the Catholic faculties are ‘hitting it out of the park.’ Henry Aaron, one in all Ubel’s favourite gamers rising up, had simply handed away and Ubel mentioned he “began connecting the dots.”

Ubel’s assortment contains two invaluable baseball playing cards: A 1948 Leaf rookie card for Jackie Robinson and a 1954 Topps rookie card for Aaron. The gathering additionally contains rookie playing cards for Minnesota Twins stars Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, and Harmon Killebrew.

However the public sale nearly did not occur as a result of Ubel got here near throwing the gathering away in 2003. Nostalgia, nevertheless, would not let him.

“I actually had these playing cards in a Lady Scout cookie field, on the Dumpster, (and) on the final minute I mentioned, ‘Oh, simply put them within the automotive, do not eliminate them, it is part of your childhood,'” he mentioned.

Though will probably be tough to half with such a sentimental assortment, Ubel says he felt the necessity to give again.

“Lent is arising. And also you speak about almsgiving, you rise up and provides homilies about almsgiving — you recognize, put your cash the place your mouth is, do one thing harder.”

Ubel expects to lift round $25,000 for the Goal Greater Basis, the place he serves on the board. The net public sale begins Friday, March 12, and runs by means of Sunday, Marth 14. “I purposely picked what we name within the Church Laetare Sunday … it is sort of just a little respite out of your Lenten penances,” mentioned Ubel.

Nonetheless, Ubel is holding out hope that he can increase much more cash, with just a little assist. “I preserve dreaming that somebody’s going to say, ‘, this can be a nice thought — this is a 1952 Mickey Mantle,'” he mentioned. “That is just like the holy grail of baseball playing cards, the primary yr of the Topps sequence, and he was such an American icon.”

“I will preserve dreaming and hoping that another person could throw in a card or two of upper worth.”

Ricky Austin, the vice chairman of development and operations at Goal Greater, instructed CNN that 100% of the proceeds will go into its scholarship fund. To this point, the muse is supporting just below 2,000 college students by means of $1,000 partial tuition scholarships.

“One of many stunning issues about our program is that when a pupil receives a scholarship, it would proceed to comply with them annually by means of eighth grade,” Austin mentioned. “So in the event that they get the scholarship in kindergarten, the whole worth of the scholarship might be price as much as $9,000.”

To remain up to date forward of the public sale, go to the Goal Greater Basis’s web site.

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