Honus Wagner T206. It is a rare Picasso. A piece of gold among an ocean of pennies. It is a flimsy piece of cardboard. And....it is worth an estimated $2.8 million and counting. Why such a commanding amount?
There are an estimated 50-100 Honus T206 cards in the world today. The highest grading as been a PSA 8. That card was acquired by Wayne Gretzky some years back and was recently auctioned off for $2.8 million. The fact that Wagner is a HOF player/coach isn't why the card has such value of course. The majority of Wagner cards that were produced were discarded due to his objection of the card itself. The card was a collector item from it's very early days. Theories abound on why Wagner was opposed to having his face on a "baseball card." Most believe he was opposed to kids buying tobacco products just to get a photo of a ball player. Others contend the sitting fee for doing the photo was outlandish. The original photo that card was taken from recently was auctioned for $50,000. It is important to note that the "PITTSBURGH" across the uniform was colored in by an artist. In the 1920's, the card first sold for an amazing $50. With inflation consideration, that is just around the $2.8 million it sells for today. The only other card that draws the respect of collectors is the 1952 Topps Mantle.Topps reproduced the T206 back a decade or so ago, and even those cards can sell between $50-$60. No other card will ever command the sort of attention as the Hans T206. You'll never get to own one. You'll never get to sell one. If you're one of the lucky ones though, one day you just may get to hold one.