Owning one of the most famous T206 Honus Wagner card is every baseball card collector's dream.
Since 1910, there are only about 50 or 60 examples have surfaced and few exist in high-grade
condition. This PSA 8 example believes to be the most finest known T206 Honus Wagner card.
The lineage of this Wagner goes back to 1985, when Bill Mastro, who is now MastroNet, Inc.,
president and CEO, got a trip at the Willow Grove, Pa., show that a collector was offering a
killer T206 Wagner and a large grouping of other high-grade T206s for sale for $25,000. Mastro
didn't hesitate. He scurried off to a Long Island card shop where he quickly finalized the sale.
In less than a year, Mastro teamed up with Greg Bussineau of Superior Sports and sold this
near-mint to mint Wagner card for $110,000 to Jim Copeland, one of the most prolific collectors
in the country. Another four years passed, and the card was sold at what was at the time the
biggest auction in hobby history, the sale of the Copeland Collection by Sotheby's. This time
the card brought $451,000 from co-winning bidders Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, who at the time
was the owner of the Los Angeles Kings. In 1995, Wal-Mart purchased the card from Gretzky (McNall
had run into financial and legal difficulties and sold his share to the hockey Hall of Famer) for
a reported $500,000+, and promptly made it the grand-prize in a nationwide contest; the winner, a
postal worker, put it up for auction the next year when she was confronted with the attendant tax
bill. Enter the eclectic collector, Michael Gidwitz, who shelled out $640,500 for the privilege of
adding the gem to his already imposing accumulation of hobby treasures. In 1996, this shocking
price tag has pushed this card as the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold at auction.
This record was topped in 1999 by the $3.05 million for Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball.
Although, this example has been graded by one of the grading companies (PSA), there are still many
collectors believe this card has been restored and/or trimmed or may be even a reprint. Since the condition
of this card is "too good to be true". Also, in majority, T206 Honus Wagner has been seen with Sweet Caporal
150 Series back and only 2 of the Wagner have been seen with Piedmont back (This PSA 8 is one of them
and the other example is in the Baseball Hall of Fame). However, this PSA 8 example will be available
again in the July 15-16 Robert Edward Auction and we are all waiting for the result.
Gallery - T206 Honus Wagner
Periodicals - T206 Honus Wagner