World Record Price of $2.8 Million Paid For Famed T206 Honus Wagner Baseball Card
SCP Auctions (Sept. 6, 2007)
The most famous and valuable trading card in the world is sold for the second time
this year through a private transaction conducted by SCP Auctions
Mission Viejo, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2007) - Another Grand Slam for Honus Wagner. The finest known
example of the famed T206 Honus Wagner baseball card has found another new home a little more
than six months after selling for a then-record shattering price of $2.35 million in February
to a California private collector. Renowned sports card and memorabilia auction company SCP
Auctions Inc., the firm that handled that transaction and took a minority ownership position
in the card, has brokered the latest sale to a private collector for a record price of $2.8 million.
The legendary T206 Honus Wagner baseball card, previously owned by Wayne Gretzky, and once
the top prize in a national contest conducted by Wal-Mart, has long been recognized as the
most famous and valuable baseball card in existence. Dubbed "The Holy Grail" or "Mona Lisa"
of baseball cards, it has always been a beacon of the red-hot vintage sports collectibles
"The T206 Honus Wagner card is an icon, not only in the field of baseball card collecting,
but in the larger field of Americana," said David Kohler, president and CEO of SCP Auctions.
"We are privileged to have been involved in the sale of this card, not once but twice."
The legacy of the T206 Honus Wagner Card dates back to its creation and initial release
by the American Tobacco Company in 1909 as part of a series that included more than 500
different baseball player cards. T206 tobacco cards are among the most widely collected,
popular and sought after cards among current collectors. To this day however, it is estimated
that less than one hundred examples of the T206 Wagner have surfaced. Numerous myths have been
perpetuated and debated over the course of the last century, as to the reason for its scarcity.
One of the prevailing theories was that Wagner, one of the premier players in the history of
baseball, insisted that he be paid by the tobacco company for the use of his image causing
the production of his card to be halted. A more common, and well-documented theory is that
Wagner simply did not want children to be influenced into buying tobacco products just to
get a "picture" of him, and thus forced the early withdrawal of his image on this principle.
The volumes that have been written and countless tales that have been spun have made the T206
Wagner card a part of classic American Folklore.
This example, recently sold by SCP Auctions has been graded NM-MT 8 by Professional Sports
Authenticators (PSA), the nations foremost third-party card grading service. PSA has
authenticated, graded and encapsulated 28 of the known T206 Wagner cards. Of those, only two
have earned grades of 4 (VG-EX) or better, three examples earned 3 (VG) status, with the
remainder garnering either a 1 or 2 due to substantial wear or significant physical imperfections.
Said Dan Imler, managing director of SCP Auctions: "For many collectors, owning any example
of a T206 Honus Wagner card is the crowning achievement of baseball card collecting. Approximately
70 collectors in the word are fortunate to own one. This example, graded PSA 8 NM-MT, is
universally recognized as the ultimate baseball card treasure. We are proud to have had a hand
in placing it in a good new home."
SCP Auctions, Inc. has been a leader in brokering important sports memorabilia and cards since
1979. The Southern California based firm also conducts regular auctions in partnership with
Sotheby's. The Sotheby's/SCP Auctions partnership has handled some of the most significant
individual items and prominent collections in their field, such as the record-setting sale of
Babe Ruth's bat used to hit the first Home Run in Yankee Stadium ($1.265 million), The Original
1919 Contract of Sale of Babe Ruth From the Red Sox to The Yankees ($996,000), and the personal
collections of Hall of Famers, such as Honus Wagner, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Cousy, Wilt Chamberlain,
Casey Stengel, Pee Wee Reese, and Ernie Banks.
Periodical - Legendary baseball card -- T206 Honus Wagner
Periodical - PSA-8 T206 Honus Wagner sold for $2.35M
Periodical - T206 Honus Wagner Sells for Record $2.35 Million
Periodical - T206 Wagner PSA-8 nets $1.27 Million
Periodical - New Owner of the $1.27M Wagner