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At the All-Star Game: Rare Honus Wagner Proof Strip Fetches $316,250 PDF Print E-mail
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Sponsorships, Promotions
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 19:03
Honus Wagner  proof
This rare proof auctioned for $316,250 on Tues. during the MLB All-Star

A Honus Wagner T206 Tobacco Card proof strip fetched $316,250.00 in the Hunt Auctions Live Auction at MLB All-Star FanFest in Anaheim, CA Tuesday. The "hammer" price when the gavel hit for the final bid was $275,00 there is a buyers premium of 15% you add that to the hammer price for the final selling price. The proof strip is the original, uncut version of the famed Honus Wagner card, the most coveted card in the collecting hobby.

”The price realized by the proof strip of the Honus Wagner card reflects not only the iconic status of the Wagner card but also the strength and stability of the sports memorabilia market in our current economic era,” said David Hunt, president of Hunt Auctions.

Between the period of 1909-11, the American Tobacco Company produced a series of color lithographic baseball cards toi be inserted into sixteen different brands of cigarettes as a promotional tool. The officering was hugely successful due in part to to the popularity of baseball during the period and the attractive color lithographic design of the cards. As time passed, and the collectability of the set increased a number of rarities and errors were discovered as could be expected from a set of this size and distribution from the early part of the century. It became very clear, however, that the card of Honus Wagner was in fact exceptionally scare, As early as the 1930s, price guides for the T-206 set listed most cards at around 30 cents while the Wagner cards was at $5.00, a stupendous price for the era. Rather quickly the card would become the most desired in the collecting world achieving iconic status as featured in publications, books, and film. Values escalated from $10,000 in the early 1980s to several examples recently exceeding $1 million and $2 million respectively.

The T-206 piece up for auction at the FanFest includes four other players: Mordecai Brown (HOF), Frank Bowerman, Cy Young (HOF), and Johnny Kling, along with Wagner (second from left).

Hunt Auctions offered close to 700 pieces of sports history to the highest bidders. Other top sellers in today’s auction include:

  • Roberto Clemente autographed professional model glove- SALE PRICE $115,000.00
  • Chili Davis’ 1998 & 1999 Yankees World Series trophies & 1999 World Championship ring- TOTAL SALE PRICE $93,150.00
  • Jackie Robinson professional model baseball bat c.1953- SALE PRICE $63,250.00
  • Joe DiMaggio professional model baseball bat c.1940-42- SALE PRICE $46,000.00
  • Kirby Puckett 1991 World Series Minnesota Twins Jersey- SALE PRICE $23,000.00

(Look for updates from the All-Star Game here on The Biz of Baseball, and on Twitter @BizBallMaury, through Weds.)

Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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