Auction House Could Set Record With Sale of Rare Baseball Card

T206 Honus Wagner baseball card being offered by Memory Lane Inc.

A rare, 103-year-old Honus Wagner baseball card sold at auction Thursday, April 19 for more than $1.2 million. Now, a Tustin, California-based sports memorabilia auction house is offering another example of collecting’s ‘holy grail’ that’s already setting records. Memory Lane Inc., which specializes in rare sports cards, is offering an authentic example of the famed T206 Honus Wagner card in its newly launched ‘Holy Grail Auction’. Graded “2” or “Good” by Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), the card is among the better known examples of the undisputed key to the set issued through American Tobacco Company products from 1909-1911.

It has been in the possession of a prominent east coast collector for many years and was recently consigned to the Tustin-based auction company.

The card’s opening bid of $550,000—the highest in sports collecting history—has already been made. With the company’s 19% buyer’s premium, the actual bid stands at a remarkable $654,000 with bidding not scheduled to end until May 5. The current bid has already smashed the record for a Wagner card in this condition. The card that brought $1.2 million on Thursday ranks just one grade higher than the one being sold by Memory Lane.

The legend behind the Wagner card is that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ star shortstop asked for American Tobacco to pull his card from production in the spring of 1909. Some speculate he did it because he abhorred smoking. Others say he didn’t want children to have to buy tobacco to acquire his card while another faction believes it was simply a dispute over compensation for the use of his picture. Whatever the reason, early card collectors quickly recognized its scarcity and the legend has only grown greater over time.

With less than 100, and perhaps as few as 60 examples known to have survived spring cleaning rituals and wartime paper drives, the T206 Wagner card has proven to be a shrewd investment in addition to being a highly prized collectible. In 2006, Memory Lane sold another PSA 2 Wagner for $294,338, less than half of the current bid on the card currently being offered. Just 12 years ago, a “Very Good” condition Wagner sold for what now looks like a bargain basement price of $145,000.

In addition to its supreme rarity, the majority of the surviving Wagner cards have graded “poor” or simply been designated as “authentic” because of numerous severe flaws, even trimming in some cases. The PSA 2 Wagner Memory Lane is offering exhibits some creasing and corner wear, but ranks among the more respectable cards of its kind ever to come to auction.

In addition to the Wagner card, Memory Lane is also offering a T206 Eddie Plank, one of the other three ultra-scarce cards from that series. It’s expected to sell for a six figure sum.

To register or receive a free catalog with hundreds of other auction items from the 19th century to the present day, call (877) 606-LANE (5263) or visit the company’s website


Add your comment

Commenting is allowed only for registered users.

Other articlesgo to homepage

University Archives New Listings and Authentication Tools of the Trade Video

University Archives New Listings and Authentication Tools of the Trade Video(0)

University Archives is proud to offer  new acquisitions.  Check out our web site for the latest offerings and click on the “Last 30 Days” red button for the most current offerings.  In addition, check out our new eBay listings! As you know, we have contracted with noted dealer, Herman Darvick, to sell select documents for us

24 Price Records Fall in Memory Lane Auction

24 Price Records Fall in Memory Lane Auction(0)

The current appetite for high-grade vintage sports cards appears insatiable. With bids flying well into the wee hours of Sunday morning after a scheduled Saturday night close, Memory Lane’s Spring Rarities Auction ended with two dozen record prices set as well as a new company record for total sales.

Memory Lane’s Spring Rarities Auction In Full Swing – Rare Cards and Memorabilia

Memory Lane’s Spring Rarities Auction In Full Swing – Rare Cards and Memorabilia(0)

The world’s top collection of mainstream Hank Aaron baseball cards are up for bid!. Memory Lane Inc. offers the group of 25 cards that encompass Aaron’s record-smashing career as part of its Spring Rarities Auction, which is now in progress at The collection includes a PSA 9 Aaron rookie card that will carry an opening

Just Collect Buys1933 Goudey Collection Ruth, Gehrig and More

Just Collect Buys1933 Goudey Collection Ruth, Gehrig and More(0)

Just Collect has been busy with buying trips and attending shows the past few weeks and are proud to announce the most recent purchase of 1933 Goudey’s highlighted by the 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig cards.

Memory Lane Inc in New York This Weekend April 29 – May 1, 2016

Memory Lane Inc in New York This Weekend April 29 – May 1, 2016(0)

 Memory Lane Inc is actively buying and accepting consignments for our upcoming sales and auctions. We are accepting sports cards and memorabilia, including graded cards, unopened wax, game used jerseys, and much more. Our Consignment deadline is approaching!  Visit Memory Lane Inc This Weekend in White Plains, NY – April 29 – May 1, 2016.

read more

E-mail Newsletter Sign-Up


Contacts and information

Auction Report is the premier web site for news coverage and more on the best auction companies.

Social networks

Most popular categories

© 2016 Auction Report All rights reserved.