One of the best copies of the most famous baseball card ever made is about to hit the auction block.
Robert Edward Auctions will be offering a T206 Honus Wagner with SGC 3 (VG) in its summer auction, which opens this week. It will include a $ 1 million reserve, but it is expected that it could bring in the highest price ever paid for a single sports card. It’s the top-rated Wagner to hit the auction market in six years and one of the five best-known examples of the card that has been the face of baseball card collecting for decades.
Notably, the card that was up for auction spent more than 30 years in its original form without being valued by the Houston, TX area collector who owned it. SGC authenticated and rated it in 2012, and it sold for over $ 1.2 million that year. The card was then privately sold again at a higher price within the last two years, according to REA. At that time, according to REA President Brian Dwyer, it was carried over to the latest style of SGC’s black and white holder.
The population of T206 Wagners with a professional grade of VG or higher has not changed in six years and they rarely come on the open market.
SGC rated four Wagner cards at the VG 3 level with three additional VG samples rated by PSA, one of which was sold through REA for over $ 1.3 million in 2015. There are only four higher rated Wagner T206 cards and all of them are in private collections: NM-MT 8, EX 5, EX 5 (incorrect cut) and a VG-EX 4. All were rated by PSA.
The current record price for a T206 Wagner was set in May when a PSA 2 was sold for over $ 3.7 million at Goldin Auctions. In February, an inferior Wagner card from the late Joe Garagiola sold for over $ 2.5 million.
Owning one of the several dozen T206 Wagner cards that are known to exist is almost never a losing proposition, and prices have risen even faster in the current market. Anything less than a seven-figure sale for the worst specimens is now hobby history.
“This is an extremely rare opportunity to acquire one of the finest copies of the most famous and sought-after baseball card of all time. The quality of this card positions it at the forefront of all known examples, and it could be a long time before we see such a beautiful card, ”noted Dwyer. “This is an exciting time in our field and I believe the timing is right for this card to become the most valuable card ever to be sold at a public auction. This is the Mona Lisa of baseball cards. “
In early June, a 1916 Babe Ruth Baltimore News card sold for an undisclosed price that is believed to be somewhere near $ 6 million, which would be the highest-paying for a sports card. In January, collector Rob Gough spent $ 5.2 million on a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle PSA 9 in a private store on PWCC Marketplace. A LeBron James rookie card privately sold through PWCC also reportedly matched that number. A recent transaction with a 1/1 Steph Curry Rookie card is said to be valued at $ 5.9 million.
Bidding for the Wagner card and the remainder of the auction begins on July 23 on the REA website and ends on August 15.