Card collecting’s most famous face kicks off Goldin’s first ever Vintage Elite Auction. A T206 Honus Wagner graded Fair (1.5) by PSA carries a $1 million opening bid.
The card hasn’t been off the market for very long. It sold for $2.28 million at Heritage Auctions in May of last year and it comes to market in the wake of several sales of Wagner cards from the estimated population of approximately 60 surviving examples.
Five months after the 1.5 was sold by Heritage, an SGC 3 example was sold through Robert Edward Auctions for $6.6 million, at the time the most ever paid for a sports card of any kind. Last March, one of the most famous copies sold when the “All-Star Cafe” PSA 1 Wagner once owned by Charlie Sheen and then stolen from a New York City restaurant in the 1990s netted over $3.1 million. Earlier this month, Goldin announced the private sale of an SGC 2 for $7.25 million, which stands as the current record for the most expensive card ever sold. That mark will fall upon next week’s completion of the auction of an SGC 9.5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. Bidding for that card could surpass $10 million.
Assuming the card consigned to Goldin is sold when the auction ends October 8, it will be at least the 14th private or public sale of a Wagner since the start of 2020. All but one have sold for at least $1.1 million, with the lone example being the $475,000 of a card that was essentially torn in half.
Throughout recorded collecting history, nearly each successive sale of a Wagner card has resulted in a higher price.
The card has a large vertical crease running through the front, corner wear and four brown spots on the pack, likely from having been placed in a scrapbook early in its life.
A 1955-56 era glove attributed to Jackie Robinson is also a part of the Goldin sale. It’s one of only two Robinson-used glove authenticated by PSA/DNA. It opens at $150,000. Reggie Jackson’s signed 1971 Oakland A’s vest-style game jersey–the one he was wearing when he belted a 539-foot homer at Tiger Stadium during the All-Star Game.
“The vintage collectibles market is thriving not only because there are so few of these incredible items that change hands, but because each of them is a part of our American history,” said Goldin Executive Chairman and Founder Ken Goldin. “Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wager were all so much bigger than baseball and collectors want to feel connected to them by owning a piece of their legacy.”
Other lots include a 1933 Goudey Ruth SGC 7, two PSA 9 Nolan Ryan Topps rookie cards, an SGC 9 Parkhurst Gordie Howe rookie and another that’s autographed; a PSA 8.5 Bobby Orr Topps rookie, multiple 1952 Topps Mantle cards, a 1939 Play Ball Joe DiMaggio SGC 9 and newly graded PSA 8 and 7 copies of Michael Jordan’s 1984-85 Star card.
The auction closes on October 1.