T206 Honus Wagner

honus wagner

The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts Pittsburgh Pirates’ Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. Only 60 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public.

In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick’s The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time. It has retained that title and is currently worth up to $2.8  million. The most famous T206 Honus Wagner is the ‘Gretzky’ card. The card has a controversial past, as some speculate that it was once altered, based on its odd texture and shape. In 1991 the card was sold to ice hockey figures Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall for $451,000. In 2007 they sold privately to an anonymous collector for $2.35 million.

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