He belonged to Pittsburgh, but folks in Paterson, NJ looked at Honus Wagner like one of their own. Playing for the minor league Paterson Silk Weavers in 1896 and ’97, the Carnegie, PA resident honed his game to a big league level. When his long and storied major league career was winding to a close 20 years later, Wagner and the Pirates returned to Paterson one last time for “Honus Wagner Day”. Now, a one-of-a-kind advertising card of Wagner, dating to that 1917 visit, is on the auction block.SCP Auctions is offering the 4” x 7” card in its current Fall Auction. It’s the only one known to exist.
The card features a full length image of Wagner in uniform and team sweater. It identifies him as “John P. ‘Honus’ Wagner” and mentions his visit “at the home of the Silk Socks.” While its exact purpose and distribution has been lost to time, it’s clear the card was created in advance of Wagner’s August 26 visit to New Jersey, where he was honored with rousing cheers and a variety of gifts, including a collection of cash raised by fans at the Doherty Oval, the park located behind the silk company. Newspaper reports of the day say the capacity crowd stood and sung “Auld Lang Syne” to the accompaniment of a band when Wagner took the field.
The card is in Very Good condition, with some minor soiling, light creasing and dark areas from dust shadowing. A new hobby discovery that’s being offered at public auction for the first ttime, it’s hard to say what the card may sell for when the auction closes Saturday, November 4.