March 2022 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/1/2022

The T206 Honus Wagner card is unlike any other sports card ever produced. It's not solely because of the card's extreme rarity (there are other more scarce cards) or player (there were more illustrious players) but perhaps a combination of those factors and others. The card is the subject of books and movies and has built such a cult following among advanced and novice hobbyists alike, with websites devoted to tracking the whereabouts of each specimen when possible. Many known specimens have even been given nicknames to help identify their linage as they pass from one collector to another over time, such as "The Long Island Wagner," "The Date-Stamped Wagner," "The Connecticut Wagner," The Chesapeake Wagner," "The Oceanside Wagner," "The Jumbo Wagner" the “Silicon Valley Wagner” and of course, "The Gretzky Wagner." But perhaps the most famous of all T206 Wagner cards is the one you see here; the "Charlie Sheen Wagner" A. K. A. "the All-Star Cafe Wagner." Each of these timeless beauties has a story to tell, but none is filled with as much mystery and intrigue as this one. On Dec. 18, 1995, the Planet Hollywood International company opened their first "All-Star Cafe" restaurant in Times Square, New York City, a sports-themed restaurant that mirrored the genuflection of the music industry at the Hard Rock cafe locations. A star-studded lineup of athletes and Hollywood celebrities were in attendance for the festivities, including investors Wayne Gretzky, Joe Montana, Shaquille O'Neal, Ken Griffey, Jr., Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Tiger Woods. Actor Charlie Sheen, an avid sports card collector and investor in the parent company Planet Hollywood, had loaned dozens of his exceptional collectibles to the cafe, where they were displayed under glass in the "Sheen Room," near the main bar, including this T206 Wagner. The cards were an attraction to admiring patrons until one day in March of 1998 when the Wagner "disappeared." Amazingly, there were no cameras or alarms at the All-Star Cafe, and the display case for the card wasn't even locked! Members of the restaurant staff conspired to take the Wagner and replace it with a counterfeit, hiding the card in the ceiling of a storage room. Weeks went by and no one from the thousands of onlookers that followed noticed anything improper, so the leader of the heist took the card home and gave it to a co-conspirator to arrange for its sale. The card was sold to a prominent dealer for the paltry sum of $18,000, far below the $222,500 that a similar card fetched just months before. Having appeared successful, another member of the staff went after several other pieces from Sheen's collection but damaged one of the cases in the process. The broken case was discovered the next day as the thieves had absconded with their loot and performed an act of sacrilege within the hobby, cutting up Sheen's 1934 Goudey sheet that contained the legendary Napoleon Lajoie card. The cards were sold to the same prominent dealer at a deeply discounted price, but the FBI was already involved. Having contacted the 25 largest dealers in the country about the missing cards from the second heist, it wasn't long before the buyer cooperated with the government and turned over both the stolen cards and the name of the seller. An arrest was made and one of the accused cooperated with the feds, who still didn't know about the missing Wagner card ... until the informant casually mentioned it as part of his interrogation. All involved were subsequently convicted and served varying sentences, with the informant receiving four years of probation. Having lived a productive life following the conviction, he was pardoned by President Obama. According to T206Resource.com, a website that tracks sales of the T206 Wagner card, the "All-Star Wagner" (A. K. A. "card #5" on their website), was sold ungraded in 1993, then changed hands again as a PSA 1 in 2000, 2001, 2009, and 2013. The last T206 Wagner cards that were sold at this grade level were in 2020, one of which was transacted by Mile High Card Company and fetched $1.146M (Oct. 2020) with the other offering going for $1.392M (Dec. 2020). A severely trimmed PSA AUTHENTIC took in $1.1M in October 2021, while a PSA 1.5 example turned heads with a selling price of $2.28M and a PSA 2 example hammered for $3.66M in May 2021. And then there's the SGC 3 example, sold in August of 2021, that tops the list as the highest-priced public sale of a sports card with a $6.6M haul. That said, consideration must also be given to the fact that no other specimen has as high a profile nor intriguing backstory as the featured item, making it primed and ready to crack the top 10. Heavily rounded corners, several creases, and a pinhole account for the minimal grade, but the image of "The Flying Dutchman" is every bit as hypnotically mystical to even the most advanced enthusiast than higher-graded examples. The reverse has some light areas of missing paper and/or discoloration, though the Sweet Caporal ad is a very bold red presentation. While the opportunity to acquire a T206 Honus Wagner card has increased over the past few years, that's no guarantee that another will come along anytime soon; especially one that can tell the incredible story that this masterpiece has to offer!

1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal 150/25 "Charlie Sheen All-Star Cafe" Honus Wagner PSA 1 PR-FR
Bidding
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,060,000.00
Number Bids:45
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