There aren’t many assets like an original T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card.
The value just keeps going up.
A 1909-1911 Wagner T-206, considered the rarest baseball card in the world, set another record for the most expensive card ever purchased, recently selling for $7.25 million.
The sale was facilitated through Goldin. Ken Goldin, who oversaw the sale, said he considers the T-206 Wagner “in the classification of a sports franchise, a value of a Picasso, a Van Gogh or a Da Vinci.”
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“It’s just so rare,” Goldin told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s a flag-bearer for the industry, especially for cards. Anybody that gets into the hobby and has money, it’s a status symbol. ‘Do you have a Wagner?’ There’s so few of them.”
The buyer and seller have opted to remain anonymous.
“The buyer is a long-time collector whose dream was to own a ‘nice’ T-206 Wagner,” Goldin said. “The seller I’d refer to as a trading card investor.”
Last May, a SGC Grade 3 went for a $6.6 million to set the former record. This one, a SGC Grade 2, is a lesser-graded card (on a scale of 1 to 10), but was a pricier sale.
The reason, Goldin said, lies with the mystique of the card.
“There’s never been a sale of the exact same card that was less than the previous sale,” Goldin said.
There are less than 50 authenticated T-206 Wagner’s, Goldin said. A few have not yet been graded – such as the card that sits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Living a life inside the sports collectibles business, Goldin becomes desensitized around valuable memorabilia.
“The only time I am in awe is when I’m staring at a T-206 Honus Wagner,” he said. “Nobody is able to complete the most famous baseball card set of all time without Honus Wagner.”
Goldin has a PSA 1.5 T-206 Wagner that will be part of its vintage auction in September.
Will a bubble ever come to the Wagner T-206 market?
“It just shows the incredible strength of the vintage sports card market.”
A 1952 Mickey Mantle rookie card, in the same ilk as the Wagner T-206, is also currently up for auction and could set another record with
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.