Unless you’re a serious collector of pre-War baseball cards, you may not realize the famous image of Honus Wagner that serves as the face of the famed T206 tobacco card was actually made from a photo taken a few years earlier.
The same Carl Horner portrait photo of Wagner was used in the Sporting Life cards including the ultra-rare W600 cabinet.
One of the higher grade examples has been consigned to Heritage Auctions’ August Platinum night where it is expected to sell for $50,000 or more
While the T206 is scarce, the W600 is even tougher to locate. Fewer than 15 graded examples are known to exist and this is the only example of its type slabbed by SGC.
Sporting Life cabinets were meant for display, measuring about 5 ¼” x 7 ½” and were initially made available through an offer in the weekly newspaper. Later, a fan could buy them for 10 cents each or 12 for $1. Not many took the publisher up on the offer. Many that were ordered eventually wore out and/or were tossed in the trash.
Some players were featured in more than one pose, including Wagner who has another W600 that shows him wearing a suit.
The card that will be offered by Heritage is graded SGC 50 with a slight water stain at the lower left and some light corner and edge wear. no higher grade examples exist on any population report.
The auction is expected to open July 21 with bidding to continue until a live conclusion August 19-20.