A very good condition T206 Wagner is leaving one private collector for another at a price that establishes another new benchmark.
Sports Collectors Daily has learned of the sale of another copy of the most iconic baseball card in the sports collecting hobby, the T206 Honus Wagner.
The professionally authenticated card rated a grade of 40 (VG) by Sportscard Guaranty and sold for $925,000, believed to be the highest price paid for a Wagner card in this condition and the third highest selling baseball card of any kind. The top two are also Wagner cards; the $2 million+ PSA 8 version that changed hands twice in 2007 and a PSA 5 copy that brought $1.62 million at auction last year when it was purchased by Arkansas dealer/collector John Rogers. Prior to this sale, the last Wagner recorded sale was a PSA 1 version put up by Robert Edward Auctions in April that was purchased for $399,500.
Memory Lane Inc. brokered the sale of the SGC 40 Wagner between two unidentified east coast collectors. The owner had kept it in his personal collection for about ten years before deciding to sell.
The Wagner card’s scarcity stems from the American Tobacco Company’s decision to pull the card from production not long after its release in 1909. It’s believed Wagner did not want early 20th century kids to have to buy packs of cigarettes to obtain his picture and demanded the card be removed from the now-iconic set of cards now cataloged as “T206”. Long-time collectors and dealers believe that fewer than 100 T206 Wagner cards exist, perhaps no more than 60. The story behind the card and Wagner’s status as a Hall of Famer have made it the most popular and desired card of all time.
“The sales price is just another indicator that the demand for Wagner cards is still much greater than the supply,” said Memory Lane Inc.’s J.P. Cohen. “When one does come up for sale, there are usually collectors standing two or three deep waiting to buy it.”
The Wagner card has also proven to be a great investment for those who have had the resources to purchase one. “It just keeps appreciating, “ Cohen said. “This sale just continues the trend and proves the market for rare vintage baseball cards is alive and well.”
The SGC 40 Wagner card exhibits better eye appeal than most of the Wagner cards that have been sold in recent years, without the heavy creasing that has accompanied some of them.
“The buyer said he has wanted one all his life and we’re glad we were able to help him buy a very nice one,” said Cohen.
Memory Lane has brokered the sale of a number of high grade baseball cards and memorabilia in recent years. Sales have included a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle, PSA 9 ($375,000; a 1927 New York Yankees team signed photograph ($350,000), 1933 Goudey Lou Gehrig PSA 10 ($325,000), 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson, PSA 8, $250,000 and a 1954 Topps Hank Aaron rookie card, PSA 10 ($250,000).
While the buyer is anxious to take possession, the Wagner card has not changed hands yet. Memory Lane is giving collectors a chance to see it up close when it goes on display during the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention at the I-X Center in Cleveland, OH July 29-August 2.
|SGC 40||$925,000||Private Sale/July 2009|
|PSA 1 PR-FR||$399,500||Robert Edward Auctions/May 2009|
|SGC 40 VG||$791,000||Weiss Auctions/November 2008|
|PSA 5 EX||$1.62 million||Mastro Auctions/August 2008|
|BVG 1 PR-FR||$317,250||Robert Edward Auctions/ April 2008|
|SGC 10 PR-FR||$227,050||Heritage Auctions/April 2008|
|PSA 8 NM/MT||$2.8 million||Private Sale/Sept. 2007|
|PSA 8 NM/MT||$2.35 million||Private Sale/February 2007|
|GAI 3.5 VG||$456,057||Mastro Auctions/December 2005|
|PSA 2 FR||$294,337||Memory Lane/December 2006|
|PSA 2 FR||$236,706||Mastro Auctions/April 2005|