Opponents in Baseball Car Feud Settle: Proceeds To Go To Charity
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) _ A baseball card that has been the focus of a highly publicized court battle between a schoolboy and a dealer will be sold and the proceeds will go to charity, the two sides said today.
Thirteen-year-old Brian Wrzesinski of Addison and baseball card store owner Joe Irmen announced their out-of-court settlement this morning, minutes before a judge was to issue a ruling in the case.
The teen-ager and Irmen had battled in the courts for months over the card, dating from Nolan Ryan’s rookie year, which Wrzesinski bought last year for $12. Ryan, 44, is now the oldest player in the majors.
Irmen said the card was worth $1,200 and was sold by a clerk who didn’t understand the ″1200″ price marked on it.
Irmen had sued for return of the card or the $1,188 difference between what Wrzesinski paid and what Irmen said it was worth. Instead, the two say they’ll set up an auction for the card in a couple of months, split the proceeds and give the money to their favorite charities.
Irmen’s lawyer, Karen Delveaux, says the settlement was reached Sunday night.
After disclosing the settlement, Wrzesinski and Irmen shook hands. Irmen says Brian is welcome to shop in his store again. Brian says he doesn’t know if he will.
Wrzesinski said he planned to continue collecting cards. ″You always go for the best bargain you can get,″ he said.
With the settlement, the case was dismissed and DuPage County Circuit Court Associate Judge Ann Jorgensen said she was pleased with the outcome.
Irmen said he was glad the money would go to charity because he had pursued the case for the principle, not profit.
″This wasn’t about the money,″ he said. ″If it was I would have quit a long time ago.″