The first T206 Honus Wagner card to be offered at auction in nearly 18 months has hit the auction block as Memory Lane Inc. opens its year-ending ‘Holy Grail Rarities’ auction. It’s one of over 1,000 sports card and memorabilia listings in the auction, which runs now through December 15.
Graded Authentic by PSA, the Wagner card has been restored on two occasions, details of which are spelled out inside the auction listing. It last sold in 2011 for $188,000 but prices for Wagner cards and other scarce vintage cards have skyrocketed since then. Early bidding is already approaching that 2011 level with the 20% buyer’s premium factored in. The last Wagner sold at auction, a PSA 1 (Poor), netted over $600,000 in June of last year.
The auction offers a who’s who in popular pre-War cards. In addition to the Wagner, collectors can bid on an autographed 1928 Exhibit Lou Gehrig (signature graded PSA 9); a NM/MT 1932 U.S. Caramel Gehrig; several 1914 Cracker Jack cards including a PSA 5 Ty Cobb and PSA 3 copies of Joe Jackson and Walter Johnson; a PSA 9 E98 Ty Cobb from the famous Black Swamp Find and several different Babe Ruth cards.
Post-War highlights lead off with the second best 1962 Topps Master set on the PSA Registry. Every card in the set grades at least a PSA 8 with the 540 of the 613 cards rating 9 or 10. Also up for grabs will be several early Mickey Mantle cards including his 1951 Bowman rookie card and 1952 Topps as well as a PSA 8.5 1952 Bowman. Hundreds of singles and lots from the golden era of gum cards are in the catalog, with many among the highest graded examples in the hobby.
Iconic rookie cards of a more recent vintage include PSA 10 examples of the 1986-87 Fleer Michael Jordan, 1976 Topps Walter Payton, 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson and 1986 Topps Jerry Rice. Also among the highlights is one of the 50 autographed 2009 Bowman Chrome Mike Trout Gold Refractors. Carrying an autograph grade of 10 and an overall 9.5 rating from BGS, the card rocketed to $27,000 during the first 24 hours of bidding.
Unopened highlights include a 1979 Topps baseball rack pack case; a 1975 Topps cello box and mini wax box, a 1962 Topps baseball pack and multiple boxes of 1980s Fleer basketball.
As usual, Memory Lane has numerous rare, vintage sports photographs in the catalog including a Babe Ruth rookie-era image taken by the legendary George Grantham Bain; a 1910s era Christy Mathewson image from Paul Thompson and Type I images of Ruth and Gehrig.
Among the autographed memorabilia are a pair of Ruth single-signed baseballs and a hand-written letter from 19th century Baseball Hall of Famer Tim Keefe.
To see the entire catalog or order a physical copy, visit Memory Lane’s website or call 877.606.LANE (5263).