T206 Honus Wagner SGC 3 Sells for 6.6 Million Dollars Crushing All-Time Price Record

Wanger Breaks Old Record by Over 1 Million Dollars! Who Owns Most Expensive Card Now?
  • August 16, 2021

Robert Edward Auctions

 

Photo Credit = Robert Edward Auctions.

Not only was the all-time price record for a sports card broken last night, it was SHATTERED by over a million dollars!  Once the finally hammer dropped in the Summer catalog at Robert Edward Auction, an SGC 3 T206 Honus Wagner had a final price of $6,606,296.40!  Who owns the treasure?  How did the buyer pay?  Let's look at "The Holy Grail of Cards."

Last month we wrote an article about the famed T206 Honus Wagner card coming to auction that may set the record for most expensive card of all-time.  When we posted about the auction, the high bid was at $2,853,117.00 with 22 days left to bid.  At the time, the there was a tie for most expensive card: a PSA 10 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie that sold for 5.2 million dollars and a 2003-2004 Exquisite Rookie Collection LeBron James that sold for the same price.  The auction ended late last night and not only did the Hounus Wagner break the record of 5.2 million dollars - it destroyed the record!  The final price for the T206 Honus Wager, graded SGC 3, was $6,606,296.40

With the historic sale, we have SO MANY QUESTIONS!  Who owns the card?  How did they pay?  Did the auction hours really make the buyer pay the 40 cents on a 6.6 million-dollar card...  Let's dive in to the card sold at Robert Edward Auctions.

T206 HONUS WAGNER - THE HOLY GRAIL OF CARDS

As part of the T206 Tobacco set , the Honus Wagner is one of the most-sought cards in our hobby.  The T206 baseball card set was distributed in various brands of tobacco between 1909 and 1911.  For unknown reasons, Wagner chose not to have his card produced in the set (either to prevent kids from using tobaccos, or most likely that The American Tabaco Company and Wagner could not agree on compensation for using his likeness). The ATC stopped producing the Wagner card, leaving the hobby with fewer than 100 cards documented.  Since 1933, the Wagner card has been one of, if not the most expensive card to own. Most collectors consider the T206 set "complete" without the Wagner as owning a copy is impossible to do without breaking your bank account. Now a new bar has set - at over six million dollars!

SGC T206 HONUS WAGNER - RECORD BREAKER

The record-breaking Wagner is graded a 3 out of 10 by SGC, a professional grading company that grades cards on a scale of 1 to 10.  When it comes to a Honus Wagner card, a 3 out of 10 is NOT a "bad grade."  In fact, only four other copies of the Honus Wagner have ever received a higher grade, each graded by PSA: (1) NM-MT 8, (1) EX 5, (1) EX 5 (MC), and (1) VG-EX 4. Keep in mind that these T206 cards sat in tobacco packs over 100 years ago; mint-condition cards rarely exist from this set.

This exact SGC 3 Honus Wagner card sold in 2012 for 1.32 million dollars. Like all things in the world since 2012, prices have increased.  A low-grade Wagner sold for 2.5 million dollars just six months ago.  The SGC 3 Wagner that sold last night is one of the best-graded examples to become available for sale in the last six years!

Discovered in 1973 on Long Island, a legendary dealer named Mike Aronstein found the Wagner.  In one of first documented public auctions for a Wagner card, bidders at the Detroit Convention pushed the sale to $1,100.  No, not 1.1 million: just eleven hundred bucks. Fred McKie of New Jersey brought Honus home.

In 1976, McKie sold the Wagner to Barry Halper.  Halper once owned TWO Honus Wager cards, and traded this SGC 3 card to a collector in Texas where the card sat for nearly 30 years. 

When SGC received this card in 2012 for grading, the grade 3 was provided, and then off to Robert Edwards Auction. Nine years later, this 1.32 million-dollar card sits at 6.6 million dollars!

ALL THE QUESTIONS! 

WHO OWNS THE CARD? 

Do you think the new record holder, the SGC 3 Wagner, will ever come forward? 

Currently, the buyer wishes to remain anonymous, much like the mystery owner of one of the 3 PSA 10 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards. When it comes to "perfect 10" Mantle, Colorado attorney Marshall Fogel bought his in 1996 for $125,000, Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks paid $104,500 in 1998 for his, but the third and final copy is in the hands of a mystery owner.  Most Wagner owners are known in the hobby.  Time will tell if we find out where the Wagner ended up!  Since we can trace the card all the way back to it's discovery in 1973, it would be cool to continue to trace such a rare card in our world.

OUR GUESSES:

  1. Collectable App

Collectable could offer shares into the card as they have done with other high-end items.

 2. Gary Vaynerchuk 

The CEO of Vaynermedia is a huge card collector.  He once tried to find a pack-fresh T206 card with our owner, Leighton Sheldon.  Here is Gary and Leighton with our sister company, Vintage Breaks:

 

 3. Logan Paul

Logan Paul once wore a PSA 10 Charizard card from Pokémon worth $300,000 as a necklace. A man willing to wear a six-figure card as a chain is probably in on the Wagner game - perhaps as a 6.6 million-dollar watch?

 

HOW DID THE BUYER PAY FOR THE CARD?

The auction house did state that cryptocurrency could be used to purchase the Wagner.  Did the buyer use Bitcoin or Ethereum? If you're wondering, that would be 142.32 Bitcoin as of today.

If the buyer paid in cash, did he pull up at the auction house with an armored car?  That's how a PSA 10 1952 Mickey Mantle arrived for a showing earlier this year:

 

WILL WE EVER SEE THE CARD DISPLAYED?

IF the buyer discloses their name, will the card make any appearances like Mick did?  Would Wagner come to the 2022 National card show in New Jersey?  Rather than armored car, maybe the Wagner is guarded by the Avengers?  If we're carrying this card around, we want Black Widow on our six, and Thor's hammer on our hips.

WILL THIS WAGNER BE SOLD AGAIN ANYTIME SOON?

The SGC 3, record-breaking Wagner, didn't hit the market for 30 years at one point.  It took between 2012 and 2021 for the card to surface again.  Will this Wagner stay in the personal collection of the Mystery Owner (we're still betting on Gary V...) or will we see this card for sale any time soon?

WILL OTHER T206 HONUS WAGNERS SURCE?

A record sale like this will certainly bring attention to our hobby from all over!  Not just sports outlets like ESPN  but USA Today covered the sale. Perhaps a long-time Wagner owner will be interested in selling their copy now, or you'll find a Wagner in your attic!  Always make sure to check THESE UNEXPECTED PLACES you may find sports cards!  We once bought a collection from a person that found a Babe Ruth card in their wall!

WE ARE ALWAYS BUYING

If you have an Honus Wagner card for sale, we'd LOVE ...and we mean LOVE to hear from you!  Not only would Just Collect be interested in BUYING your Wagner, we'd love to hear the story on how you came to own such a historic card. We've purchased many rare and valuable cards including the ultra-rare Eddie Plank card from the T206 set in our Fairy Godmother find that you can read about HERE.

Just Collect is always buying vintage sports and non-sports cards from 1879 to 1979 as well as select modern cards. If you have a collection that you are considering selling, contact us today to discuss or get our industry-leading purchase offer. If you have a collection that you want appraised, please contact us and we would be happy to discuss your collection and help you understand the real cash value of your collection in the current marketplace. Check out the Just Collect buy list blog here

OUR BUYING PHILOSOPHY

We've run into a wide range of people and collections over the last 25 years. Although Just Collect is known for buying vintage sports cards and especially vintage baseball cards, we are also extremely interested in buying non-sports cards, too!  

Every collection and every collector is different and we treat EVERY collection with the respect and attention that we show for our own collections. We understand that many have put their heart and souls into building their collections. So when you're ready to sell, we understand the feelings that you're going through and will work with you to help you reach a decision that is a WIN/WIN, because if you're not happy, we're not happy.

CONTACT US ANY TIME

Whether you have tobaccos cards, vintage cards or wax you want to sell, you can reach out to us any time!  If you are Gary V and you do own this Honus Wagner, call us - our investigative minds are curious. 

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