Honus Wagner T206 baseball tobacco card donated to charity

Photograph of the most valuable baseball card in history, the T206 Honus Wagner card.

Honus Wagner's T206 tobacco card is the most valuable collectible sports card ever. (Photo: CC Public Domain/Wickethewok/Wikipedia)

When it comes to collecting anything, scarcity creates value. In the case of the T206 Honus Wagner baseball tobacco card, Wagner’s anti-tobacco stance and the subsequent court injunction to discontinue the use of his image on tobacco cards stimulated both the scarcity and inherent value of the card. According to the Associated Press, one of 60 known Honus Wagner T206 cards was recently donated to Sister Virginia Muller and the Baltimore-based school Sisters of Notre Dame. Even though the card is in poor condition (T206 cards were produced between 1909 and 1911), it is expected to draw between $150,000 and $200,000 at auction.

A near-mint T206 Honus Wagner captured $2.8 million in 2007

Sister Muller told the Associated Press that it is “mind boggling” that a piece of cardboard measuring 1 1/4-inches-by-2 1/2-inches with Honus Wagner’s picture on it could sell for such a price. Apparently a nun’s brother had the card in a safe-deposit box, and after he died, his possessions were donated to Sister Virginia Muller’s order.

Card collecting experts anticipate that the Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card will continue to “increase exponentially” in value over the years. Creases, cuts and lamination that would normally destroy the value of a collectible card won’t bring down this T206 Honus Wagner card, said Chris Ivy of Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, the companies that will auction the card on behalf of the Sisters of Notre Dame.

Honus Wagner was known as ‘The Flying Dutchman’

According to baseball historian Bill James, Honus Wagner was a fitness fanatic who was ahead of his time when it came to lifting weights to improve his performance on the baseball diamond. A shortstop with a blacksmith’s build, Wagner played 18 of his 21 seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he was known as “The Flying Dutchman” for his speed and grace afield. A Hall of Fame player, Wagner batted .328 with well more than 3,000 career hits. Honus Wagner is generally considered to be one of the two or three greatest players in baseball history.

Sources

Associated Press

A bonus from Honus

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