Every few years a Honus Wagner T206 card comes on the market. And every time one does, I link to a story about it because I collected baseball cards when I was a kid and always thought about how I might one day find one under the arm rest of an old car or something. Assuming they had armrests. Whatever:
A suburban St. Louis man who has been in the collectibles business for a quarter of a century, says the 102-year-old baseball card he’s putting up for auction starting Tuesday is about as good as it gets.
Bill Goodwin expects the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card – one of the most sought-after sports collectibles in the world – to fetch at least $1 million, and perhaps as much as $1.5 million, in the online auction.
They’ve gone for as high as $2.8 million, so apparently this one has a crease in it or some such. Probably happened while under the arm rest of that old car.
The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.
Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.
Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.