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A Honus Wagner card is going up for auction

Feb 25, 2013, 9:21 AM EDT

Honus Wagner card

I always link to stories about Honus Wagner T-206 cards going up for auction because when I was a kid I was convinced I was going to find one if I looked around in junkyards, garage sales and flea markets long enough. I would have settled for a ’52 Mantle, but the Wagner was really what I was looking for.

That said, even if I had the means, I don’t think I’d get in on the action now. It’s just … too much:

The card being auctioned at Goldin’s is one of the three highest quality cards in existence. On a scale of 1 to 10, a card graded 8 was bought by Wayne Gretzky in 1991 for $451,000. After a handful of other collectors, it rests now with Ken Kendrick, owner of the the Arizona Diamondbacks, who paid $2.8 million for it in 2007.

Another card, with a 5 grade, was sold to an anonymous buyer in 2008 for $1.62 million.

The card at Goldin’s is also graded 5. It’s been in the hands of a private collector and locked in a bank vault for the past five years.

What a waste. Like this guy doesn’t have a bike with spokes?

I’m more surprised that Kendrick’s is the best quality one out there. While near-mint condition cards are great, you’d think he’d want something more gritty.

  1. IdahoMariner - Feb 25, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    extra points for gritty snark, craig. i am up way too early (for me) for outright laughter, but it was a good warmup for later.

  2. albertmn - Feb 25, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    $2.8 million for a piece of paper. I just find it amazing that some people have so much money they have nothing better to do with it.

    • fanofevilempire - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      If that is the way they chose to spend their money what can you do, I would hope he had it on display for Arizona fans to see, I know, I know, in a display case so you can’t touch.

      I would hate to own it and have it in a safety deposit box.I guess when it is an Investment and Insurance and such this is what you have to do, hey, I got my valuables in a safety box.

      Hey Craig, I change my mind I won’t be bidding after all, it’s all yours buddy.

  3. unclemosesgreen - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:03 AM

    Kendrick bought the card from a hockey player though. Extra grit points.

    That player was Wayne “Lady Bing” Gretzky. Minus 1/2 of those grit points.

    • yahmule - Feb 25, 2013 at 1:18 PM

      Yes, but the co-owner of the card was cherubic white collar felon Bruce McNall. Defrauding six bank out of a quarter of a billion dollars and getting 70 months in minimum security gotta be worth some grit.

  4. misterfrump - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    If this is $1.62 million, I’m assuming I can get at least 5k out of my 1988 Tops Danny Tartabull, right?

    • dowhatifeellike - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      I have some autographed Larry Walkers and Scott Ericksons around here somewhere… didn’t realize I was sitting on a gold mine!

      • misterfrump - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        Oh, I am the proud owner of a 1990 Topps Scott Erickson rookie card, *that I rushed out and bought for $15 in 1991*. I was a little kid, had some allowance and was sure I was making an incredible investment in my future.

        As you can see, history has proven me correct.

      • uwsptke - Feb 25, 2013 at 12:48 PM

        I did the same thing, except it was for the reigning 1992 AL Rookie of the Year (Pat Listach). Talk about buying high.

  5. mybrunoblog - Feb 25, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    There has always been some talk in the memoribilia world that this Wagner card has been trimmed. I wonder if anyone has ever tested the card. Oh wait. The union won’t agree to that. Nevermind.

    • jwbiii - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      I’m sure the card has been “authenticated.” How a person becomes an authenticator is another matter. I thought the article I read on the subject was on Peter Nash’s site but I can’t find it now. The high end memorabilia business is pretty filthy, rife with theft and forgeries.

  6. badintent - Feb 25, 2013 at 10:34 PM

    Craig ,I had a 1956 Mantle, gave it to my brother and he sold it for chump chance.

  7. denny65 - Feb 27, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Yeah, well I have a ’56 Roy McMillan that came in a pack of hot dogs. So there.

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