Unique Honus Wagner baseball card up 83.3% on estimate

A unique example of the T206 Honus Wagner baseball card has beaten its estimate by 83.3% with a $550,000 performance at an online sports memorabilia auction which ended on May 12.

The "good-2" graded specimen is the only version of the rare baseball card that bears the date "Oct 16 1909" stamped in purple ink on the reverse.

Just 50 cards featuring the Pittsburgh Pirates' shortstop are thought to exist.

The most expensive specimen is currently the "Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner", bought by Canadian hockey star Wayne Gretzky in 1991, before again changing hands for $1.26m in 2000. It last sold in 2008 for $2.8m.

Honus Wagner
This unique Honus sold for $550,000

"This is an incredible card with or without the stamp, but the date stamp gives this card an amazing significance," commented the auction house's president Robert Lifson.

"Not only is this the only T206 Honus Wagner card that actually dates itself - which all alone is interesting as the T206 Honus Wagner card was only issued in 1909 - October 16th is the date of the final and deciding game of the 1909 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers."

A "very good-3" graded Honus Wagner sold for $1.23m in April, representing a 6.72% pa rise in value for Honus Wagners of that grade since 2008.

A "Slow Joe" Doyle card from the same T206 American Tobacco Co. collection sold for $350,000 at the May 12 auction.

The sale also featured a 1923 Babe Ruth bat that has claims to have been used on the opening day at Yankee Stadium on April 18, 1923. It sold for $18,000.

A bat thought to have used by Ruth to hit the first home run at the new stadium, on that opening day, sold for $1.26m at Sotheby's in 2004.

Sports memorabilia collectors should take a look at the many superb items currently up for grabs at PFC Auctions' May sale, which runs until the 24th.

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