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Wanna make some cash? Remodel your bathroom

By Keith Barber

How is a bathroom remodeling project related to baseball cards?

Well, let’s just say that it could have been the most expensive bathroom rehab in the world.

(AP Photo/Ric Francis)

(AP Photo/Ric Francis)

Recently, a rare Honus Wagner baseball card that had been bequeathed to an order of Roman Catholic nuns was sold at auction for $262,000. Wagner, “The Flying Dutchman,” was a shortstop with the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 seasons, compiling a .328 career batting average during his 21 Major League seasons, and one of the five original inductees into baseball’s Hall of Fame.

The Wagner card was produced as part of the T206 series between 1909 and 1911, and is the most sought-after baseball card in history. About 60 are known to exist.

Inherited earlier this year by The School Sisters of Notre Dame, Baltimore, Md., the card was offered in an auction through Dallas-based Heritage Auction Galleries. Money from the sale will be used in charitable contributions.

My bathroom remodeling project was not as exciting as Wagner’s career, however, but still was out of the ballpark.

The story continues this way: During my high school years, my family had a modest cape-cod style home built in the late ’40s. Bathrooms in these homes were not very large, and an attempt to enlarge the space made way into a closet in a neighboring bedroom. The room was my brother’s sanctuary. Filled with sports memorabilia, and a closet with seven shoe boxes filled with hundreds of baseball and football cards, all ’50s and ’60s era.

Now, sometimes contractors become careless with debris and demolition material, and the inevitable happened. All the cards and other things put in a pile for safe keeping somehow got swept away in the dumpster. I’ll never forget the look on my brother’s face when he returned from school that late afternoon.

To say he was distraught would be an understatement.

Eventually he did use the shower, but contends that mom and dad used his cards to pay the bill. And again this weekend, after learning about the Honus Wagner card sale, old wounds have reopened. My brother swears that he had at least 10 of those Wagner cards in those boxes.

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Keith Barber is a data reporter at The Daily Reporter … and has been known to take money from nuns.

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