August/September 2020 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/4/2020
If you grew up a baseball fan, you probably have fond memories of going down to the corner store and buying a few packs of the latest Topps product to hit the store shelves. At some point in time you went from buying cards to becoming a collector, and when that day came, you started learning about the hobby and the vast history of baseball cards dating back to the 19th century. Of course, the one question everyone invariably asks is "What's the best baseball card there is?" For the large majority of advanced collectors, the T206 Honus Wagner stands as the hallmark of the hobby. It's not the rarest card known, nor was Wagner the greatest star in the history of the game, but the mystique surrounding its scarcity and its place within the vaunted T206 series make it not just the king of the baseball card mountain, but a symbol of status and distinction for any collector who owns one. Even people who know virtually nothing about the baseball card hobby have heard that the T206 Wagner is the pinnacle of the hobby, and they might not even know that Wagner is Honus Wagner. We've all heard the two prevailing theories as to why the card is so scarce; the first being that Wagner objected to allowing his likeness to be used on a baseball card that promotes tobacco products, the second being that Wagner had the production of the card halted because he felt he should be financially compensated by the American Tobacco Company for the use of his image. It's true that Wagner is absent for most major tobacco issues from the time period but does appear in the regional T216 collection with Kotton, Mino, and Virginia Extra backs. On the other hand, with hundreds of player images featured in the T206 series from 1909-11, it would seem implausible that only Wagner (and potentially Ed Plank) would have objected to their likeness being used without compensation. We will likely never know, but we do know that roughly 60-65 T206 Wagners exist, many of which can be tracked down to their present owners. Most known examples carry the Sweet Caporal 150 Series-Factory 25 back like the card featured here, though there are some known that have the Sweet Caporal 150 Series-Factory 30 or Piedmont back. While few, if any, baseball historians would name him as the greatest player in baseball history, Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner was a true legend of his day. After three solid seasons with the Louisville Colonels, Wagner was part of an unprecedented trade that sent him, two other future Hall of Famers (Clarke and Waddell) and nine other players, to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jack Chesbro, three other players, and $25,000 cash. In his 18 seasons with the Pirates, “The Flying Dutchman” won eight National League batting titles and also led the league in doubles seven times, triples three times, RBI four times and stolen bases five times, taking the Pirates to the World Series in 1903 and 1909, winning the latter of the two. He finished his career with 3,430 hits, which still ranks #8 on the all-time list. Graded PSA 1, the card exhibits heavy but consistent rounding at the corners with significant creasing throughout the front and back surface. Of course, that's to be expected given the minimal grade, and with the extreme scarcity and status, this overall condition is secondary to the jubilation of being able to claim ownership of one, in any condition. However, two appealing characteristics of the card is the more than adequate centering that comes within a few degrees of perfect, and the absence of any considerable paper loss which appears on several other T206 Wagner cards of equal grade. The card certainly shows its mileage, and one can only imagine the stories it might tell in its approximately 110-year journey from when it first entered the general public until this day. This is the second opportunity that Mile High Card Company has had to offer a T206 Wagner for sale in the last year and that sense of wonderment and awe to hold the genuine article, let alone present the opportunity for the greatest bidder base in the country to bid on it, has not waned. “The Card” is an inspiration, as well as an aspiration, to millions of collectors around the world and serves as the crowning achievement of any collection, nothing short of owning an original Picasso, a #1 edition of Action Comics, or a 1956 Aston Martin. This is as good as it gets!
1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal 150/25 Honus Wagner PSA 1 PR-FR
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,146,000.00
Number Bids: 30
Auction closed on Friday, September 4, 2020.
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