Christmas came a little early for the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
The morning of Dec. 20, the Baltimore-based Atlantic-Midwest province of the School Sisters of Notre Dame received $220,000 from Heritage Auctions in Dallas – the amount raised in the sale of a rare Honus Wagner baseball card that had been willed to the women’s religious congregation.
After the original buyer failed to pay on the bid, Heritage arranged for the card to be sold to Dr. Nicholas DePace, a Philadelphia-area cardiologist, longtime collector and devout Catholic.
“The sisters are very grateful that Heritage was able to find a buyer and they are very grateful to Dr. DePace for stepping in,” said Phyllis Brill, communications director for the School Sisters’ Atlantic-Midwest province.
Brill noted that the sisters will use the money to support the congregation’s educational ministries in North America and the work of sisters in Latin America and Africa.
The card, which had been graded authentic though in poor condition, was left to the sisters by the brother of one of the congregation’s members.
Heritage waived all seller’s fees associated with the auction so that the sisters did not pay any commission for the sale of the card.
“There was never a moment when there was any doubt about the money going where it was supposed to,” said Greg Rohan, president of Heritage. “Heritage has a very deep collector base, and many of them are as philanthropic as they are wise. When we approached Dr. DePace about this card, he didn’t hesitate.”