August 2023 Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 9/8/2023
For the fifth time since 2019, Mile High Card Company is proud to announce the sale of what is undeniably the greatest sports card ever produced; the legendary T206 Honus Wagner. The T206 Wagner is not just the pinnacle of an entire industry, its eminence so cemented within the annals of history that it is simply referred to as "The Card"; it is often the one fragment of hobby knowledge familiar to those who have no hobby knowledge, and it's not hard to see why. It’s been a prominent subject in many movies and books, been on display in the nation’s most prestigious museums, owned by famous business executives, CEOs, Hollywood stars, and athletes, and makes national headlines whenever one is sold. It even has its own Wikipedia page. So it comes as no surprise that when the subject of baseball card collecting arises in a discussion with people who know nothing about the hobby, they might convey their entire body of knowledge on the subject by joking, “Yeah, baseball cards, I have one of those Wagners” without even knowing what it is or what one might look like. It's the Mona Lisa, the Inverted Jenny, and the Stradivarius of its world! And while no one can predict the future, the T206 Wagner has proven not only to be the ultimate status symbol for the hobbyist who owns one but also the most lucrative investment in all of sports card collecting. The market for this prize has taken a decided uptick since MHCC privately sold a PSA 3 example for $3.25M in 2020, the 2nd highest price ever paid for a sports card at that time. Since then, an SGC 3 graded example broke $6.6M in October 2021, and more recently, an SGC 2 graded beauty changed hands privately for $7.25M. But it's not just the rarity of the card (thought to be 60-65 known to exist) that makes it the hobby's greatest triumph but also the greatness of the subject and the lore surrounding its extreme scarcity. Wagner, AKA "The Flying Dutchman", is recognized as one of the first true dominant icons in the history of the game. A 21-year vet in the majors, Wagner earned eight National League batting crowns while posting an incredible .352 batting average over the prime of his career from 1900-1909, adding top honors twice in run scored, seven times for most doubles, three times for most triples, four times for most RBI, five times for most stolen bases, and six times for highest slugging percentage during that span. While it's extremely difficult to compare the superstars of yesteryear to today's greats, it's very high praise for ESPN to rank Honus Wagner at #12 on its "Top 100 MLB Players of All-Time" list. As for the reason behind the card's incredible scarcity, well that's a little more indeterminate. The widely accepted but unconfirmed rationale is that Wagner had his card pulled from production because he objected to having his likeness used in that manner. Though he enjoyed cigars and chewing tobacco, cigarettes were a different story altogether, considered by Wagner to be a boorish form of tobacco use that was also despised by Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss. So the story goes that in response to the authorization letter seeking Wagner's permission, he wrote that he "did not care to have his picture in a package of cigarettes" and threatened legal action if they used his likeness. The American Tobacco Company, failing to foresee this complication, had already had the presses rolling but quickly made corrections to stop the production of the Wagner card. However, some got out to the general public; no one knows exactly how many were printed and how many have survived. As for the card, the AUTHENTIC determination originates from the hand-cut perimeter, and since that alteration precluded the card from receiving a numerical grade, a previous owner decided to improve the aesthetics of the card by having the surface restored, removing the blemishes to make the circa 1902 Carl Horner created image of the legendary Honus Wagner the focal point once again and the supporting orange backdrop that is so familiar to collectors stand proud yet gladly yield the spotlight to the Dutchman. In past years, the prospect of T206 Wagner ownership has had hobbyists fighting over unsightly examples with no borders or even half the card missing! This AUTHENTIC example pleases the eye, and makes a true statement to the sports-collecting world that the owner of this card is a pioneer in the hobby!
Exceptionally Attractive 1909-11 T206 Sweet Caporal 150/25 Honus Wagner PSA Authentic (Restored)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $1,968,000.00
Number Bids:52
Competitive in-house shipping is not available for this lot.
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