The auction for what was advertised as a T206 Honus Wagner card was pulled from eBay Friday. The card has been under scrutiny for some time with many collectors believing it is not genuine.
Two Cincinnati area men are attempting–again–to sell what they believe is a T206 Wagner but if you don't know Latin, it's time to find out what the words "caveat emptor" mean.
They claim is was part of an estate sale..a dirtied but still intact baseball card of Honus Wagner. Not any Wagner. THE Wagner. A T-206, issued between 1909 and 1911, of which the world knows of approximately 50-70 surviving examples.
Ray Edwards and John Cobb have been trying to cash in on what they believe is the real deal. They claim they purchased it from a broker who had acquired it through an estate liquidation over twenty years ago. Yet they refuse to have their card authenticated by one of the major sports card grading firms because they say they don't want it out of their sight. Now, they've turned it over to a New York antique dealer, who won't guarantee it's authenticity, but is willing to sell it anyway. The appraiser has set the minimum bid at $300,000.
The auction is scheduled for Binghamton, NY and just because it was pulled from eBay Friday does NOT mean the card will not go on the auction block. It will be placed up for bid at the live auction in Binghamton Saturday.
The pair have tried to sell the card via auction several times before but haven't succeeded for a variety of reasons, many of which involve the lack of reliable authentication.
The story is intriguing enough to attract the interest of HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel but to say the card has been met with skepticism in the collecting community is a major understatement. Vintage sports card collecting message boards are full of outraged collectors who call it an obvious fake.
Here's the story and background from the web site of the appraiser who's putting it up for sale. He says paper experts validated the age of the paper the card is printed on and expects the card to sell.
Contributors to the Network54 vintage baseball card forum don't understand why the sellers won't have the card authenticated and have some choice words to say about the whole deal.
Your editor believes it's a no-brainer.