Back when we were kids, my brother used to believe that if you searched enough glove compartments in auto junkyards, you’d eventually find a Honus Wagner card. My dad and I used to tell him that he was silly, and that given how valuable the thing was, you could bet your bippy that collectors have found them all and the only people who will ever get their hands on one are the auction houses, obsessive collectors and the stinkin’ rich. Well, this wasn’t in a Model-A glove box, but it’s fairly close:
The brother of a nun who died in 1999 left all his possessions to the order when he died earlier this year. The man’s lawyer told Muller he had a Honus Wagner card in a safe-deposit box. When they opened the box, they found the card, with a typewritten note: “Although damaged, the value of this baseball card should increase exponentially throughout the 21st century!” The card was unknown to the sports-memorabilia marketplace because the nuns’ benefactor had owned it since 1936.
Now it’s in the hands of the School Sisters of Notre Dame. They’re going to sell it and help fund ministries for the poor. Sources say that they’re going to keep all of their Ron Cey cards for sentimental reasons, however.
We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.
Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”
Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).
Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.