The operator of a small chain of sports card and memorabilia stores is the new owner of a T206 Honus Wagner consigned to auction by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.
The card sold at auction Thursday night for $262,000.
Doug Walton of Knoxville, Tennessee told media outlets that while he may have overpaid considering the condition of the card, he felt the story behind the card and the charity its sale will benefit made it worthwhile. His aggressive bidding paid off.
“For many years, I have been in the hunt for an original T206 Wagner in any condition,” Walton said in a statement, “and the back story on this card makes it that much more special.”
Walton runs the stores after inheriting them from a late uncle who told him that he had owned a Wagner decades ago.
“He doesn’t know what happened to it, and it was his dream to get another one of those cards back — in any condition,” Walton told the Associated Press. “I feel like me acquiring this card is continuing his legacy. … He referred to it as the Mona Lisa. He was so sad about it.”
The Wagner was among a collection of cards donated to the sisters. All had been trimmed and glued into a scrapbook. When removed from the scrapbook, the Sweet Caporal tobacco ad on the back was partially lost. The card was graded simply “Authentic”, but still competed strongly with the prices obtained by a couple of Wagners graded ‘poor’ and sold in recent years. A PSA 1 (poor-fair) Wagner sold via Robert Edward Auctions last spring for $282,000.
The Sisters of Notre Dame will use the proceeds to help fund various charity efforts they conduct around the world.