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  Gallery - Honus Wagner Proof

T206 Honus Wagner Uncut Proof

This unique uncut proof strip of T206 cards is one of card collecting's greatest prizes, as the strip includes the famous T206 Honus Wagner card. The five cards on the strip, from left to right, are: Mordecai Brown, Honus Wagner, Frank Bowerman, Cy Young, and Johnny Kling. The T206 Wagner is legendary not only for its rarity, but also because of the story surrounding the card's origins. Reports have been published claiming that there are as few as eight, or as many as several hundred T206 Wagners. In fact, there are approximately fifty known authentic examples of the card. Honus Wagner refused to allow the tobacco companies to include him in the set because he specifically did not want his picture to be packaged with cigarettes. This famous legend is actually verified by period documentation, including an article that appeared in the October 24,1912 edition of The Sporting News detailing the circumstances of Wagner's refusal to be included in the set. The T206 Wagner card has been revered as the most desirable baseball card in the world since the beginning of organized collecting.

When the American Card Catalogue was first published in the 1930's, it listed the value of the other cards from the T206 set as thirty-five cents, but even at that time it listed the T206 Honus Wagner card at fifty dollars. The hobby's second most valuable card, the 1933 Lajoie #106, listed for one dollar in the same guide. The famous Copeland / Gretzky-McNall / Gidwitz Wagner, the only example in mint condition, holds the sale record for a baseball card, last selling at auction in 1996 for $640,500. This is the only proof strip of T206 cards known to exist. Of special note is the fact that this strip of cards was actually found many years ago in the attic of Honus Wagner's old house by the new owners, along with various personal effects, including correspondence and uniforms. It is likely that the tobacco companies sent this strip to Honus in a special effort to try to convince him to cooperate with their plans to include him in the T206 set. The strip has printers proof marks on the borders of each card, and a blank reverse, in fair condition due to numerous heavy creases.


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