Modified Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $1.52 million


Another Honus Wagner card in horrible condition sold for over $1 million on Monday.

The Wagner, brazed by the PSA grader as modified, had both sides cut off.

The unknown winning bidder of the auction held by Robert Edwards Auctions didn’t care.

The price to pay ? $1,528,066.

That’s a 511% increase since its purchase price 10 years ago, taking into account inflation.

The card was sold for $198,850 in the summer of 2012. It was later resold in September 2019 for $540,000.

If you don’t know the full history of the Wagner card, we’re here to help.

Who was Honor Wagner?

Wagner played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 18 seasons from 1900 to 1917. He batted over .300 in 16 of those seasons, was an excellent defenseman, and enjoyed stealing bases.

He was among the first class of Baseball Hall of Fame inductees in 1936, joined by Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Babe Ruth.

Why is this card worth so much?

The Wagner is part of the T206 set which has been produced by American Tobacco for its 16 different brands.

He produced a ton of them over a three-year period, from 1909 to 1911. But according to legend, Honus didn’t like his image on cigarette boxes because he wanted to be a model.

He told the cigarette brand they had to remove his images from the cards. They did, and it created one of the rarest cards in history.

Is it true?

Definitely not. When Pittsburgh won the World Series in 1909, Wagner cigars were on the market.

Another, more likely theory is that Wagner didn’t like that he wasn’t paid enough for his image and told the tobacco company to take his image off the cards.

They obliged.

Has the Wagner always been so expensive?

Well, for the most part, it’s the most expensive card over time. It helps to show you the rise of a card, the most valuable T206 Wagner sold to date: a Wagner, rated 3 by SGC.

This card was sold in August 2021 for $6.62 million, the highest amount ever paid for a card. This card was first purchased in 1974 for $1,100. It sold twice over the next 28 years and in 2012 it sold for $1.2 million.

Nine years later, the price had more than quintupled.

According to Rally, the fractional collector’s company that has itself offered a Wagner on its market, the price of a Wagner has risen 3,841% since December 2003, without taking inflation into account.

Rally itself acquired a Wagner and offered shares at a value of $520,000 in December 2019. Today, the Wagner – also modified and tattered – is worth $1.9 million, according to market prices .

Monday’s Wagner was nowhere near the worst Wagner ever sold at auction. In February, SCP Auctions auctioned off a Wagner that was 40% missing. It still sold for $475,960.

What’s in the extra controversy?

The most famous Wagner card is the one sold to Wayne Gretzky and LA Kings owner Bruce McNall. This card turned out to be cut.

Even still, like the others, he didn’t completely devalue the card.

The card was last purchased by card collector Ken Kendrick.

Honus Wagner Card Prices:

  • $6.6 million: SGC 3, Heritage, August 2021
  • $3.8 million: PSA 2, Goldin, May 2021
  • $3.13 million: PSA 1 “Charlie Sheen Wagner”, Mile High, April 2022
  • $2.8 million: “Gretzky Wagner”, September 2007
  • $2.52 million: PSA A, Heritage, February 2021
  • $2.35 million: “Gretzky Wagner”, March 2007
  • $1.9 million: “Nuns Wagner”, rally, current value
  • $1.52 million: PSA A, Robert Edwards Auctions, April 2022
  • $1.27 million: “Gretzky Wagner”, 2000
  • $640,500: “Gretzky Wagner”, September 1996
  • $540,000: PSA A, Heritage, September 2019
  • $520,000: “Wagner Sisters” Gathering, December 2019
  • $500,000: “Gretzky Wagner”, 1995
  • $475,960: 60% Wagner, SCP Auctions, February 2022
  • $451,000: “Gretzky Wagner”, 1991
  • $420,000: PSA A, Memory Lane, December 2018
  • $357,500: PSA A, eBay, February 2011
  • $222,000: PSA A, Legendary, July 2009
  • $220,000: “The Wagner Nuns”, December 2010
  • $198,850: SGC A, Goodwin, August 2012
  • $109,268: 1 PSE, 2004
  • $62,338: PSA A, Mastro, August 2003

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