New Owner of the $1.27M Wagner
Written by T206museum.com (July 19, 2000)
PSA 8 Wagner Auction Highlight
The best-known example of the industry's most famous card, the T206 Honus Wagner, sold for $1.1 million
Saturday. The final price for the PSA 8 NM-MT tobacco card, including 15 percent buyer's fees, was $1,265,000.
The winning bidder was, 40-year-old Brian Seigel of Santa Ana, Calif, businessman and a
collector of high-grade specimens of some of the hobby's most coveted cards.
Seigel's company (Rockford Industries)
went public 10 years later, then was sold in 1999 to American
Express for $61 million, which would be enough to buy quite a few
Wagners, with change to spare.
"I wanted to be the first one ever to bid $1 million on a baseball card, so I bid $900,000 that along with
the buyer's fee would be $1 million," Seigel told the Orange County Register at a press conference
at Edison Field in Anaheim Tuesday. "Then I got a call (from auction officials) that someone was about
to make a higher bid and I asked my wife, what should we do?
"She said, ‘You have the
chance now, and it's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.' She actually
said, ‘Go for it,' and that made me go all the way to the $1.1
million (winning) bid."
"It's a dream come true," Seigel said yesterday, three days after winning on on-line auction
for the card depicting the Pittsburgh Pirates' Hall of Fame shortshop.
"This is the Mona Lisa of our hobby, most people don't get to see it," Seigel said.
"What I'm thinking of is to have a traveling compny to tour big-league ballparks
to put this card on display. If I took this to my safety deposit box, nobody would
ever see it"
Seigel said he began thinking about the Wagner card when it sold for $461,000 in 1991
to former hockey star Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, then owner of the Los Angeles Kings.
"It was very exciting," said Lifson, who noted that there were six
active bidders on the card in the closing moments, and several
others who had been interested but were quickly left behind as the
bidding soared. "We had hoped the card would bring $1 million,
and it exceeded that. It practically doubled the old record, and
we're real happy about that."
Gallery - T206 Honus Wagner
Periodicals - T206 Honus Wagner