$2.35 Million sale of famed baseball card part of three-team deal to bring The Flying Dutchman back to the Burgh

LOS ANGELES - A surprise announcement came in the wake of the record-setting sale of the 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. The buyer, who was previously identified only as a "Southern California" man, was revealed to be San Diego Padres General Manager Kevin Towers, who promptly traded the card to the Pittsburgh Pirates for all of their roster players except for the four men battling for the backup catcher position.

Pirates GM Dave Littlefield said that the move was in keeping with the team's "long-term plan for financial flexibility." The Pirates owners, the Nutting family, praised the deal in a written statement. "Honus Wagner was one of the all-time great Pirates," the statement said, "and we're very pleased that Dave has found a way to bring 'The Flying Dutchman' back to Pittsburgh, where he belongs."

Littlefield credited himself with the idea for the acquisition. "When we saw Honus was available, we just had to have him," Littlefield said.

The card will be kept in an airtight polyurethane frame. According to Littlefield, it will be "first on the depth chart at shortstop."

The remaining Pirates players were enthused about the move. "Before, I was battling three other guys just to be Ronny Paulino's backup," said catcher Humberto Cota. "Now, I have to believe I have a chance to play every day."