Baseball cards can pay for a lot of scholarships.
If you’ve got the right ones, anyway.
Father John Ubel certainly did. A lifelong collector, the rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Minnesota scooped up rookie cards of Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron about a dozen years ago for several hundred dollars apiece. He was a fan, but hadn’t kept up with the continuing growth of the sports card market so when he recently looked up the value of those two cards and a few of the others he owned, he was stunned…and inspired.
As we reported last week, an idea was hatched to sell his collection as a fundraising initiative for the Aim Higher Foundation, which provides scholarships for lower income students.
The Aaron and Robinson cards were listed on eBay while the others were sold Sunday night on the Foundation’s website.
The Robinson card, graded PSA 4, sold for $35,000 while the PSA 5 Aaron netted $8,600. A Terry Bradshaw rookie card graded 7 and a PSA 6 1968 Topps Mantle owned by Father Ubel each garnered bids of over $1,000. In all the collection generated over $100,000.
“I’m beside myself,” Father Ubel told The Catholic Spirit. “It’s more than I ever could have imagined. And, the generosity of the people is amazing and very humbling.”
Before the auctions closed Sunday, KARE 11 caught up with him and Jean Houghton, Director of the foundation.
Father Ubel told Fox News that the Major League Baseball Players Association sent him a box of cards last week after hearing about the story.
“They said, in a beautiful note, ‘You’re giving up your collection; we want to help you start a new one,’” he said. “So, I guess I have to start all over again.”