'Original' Honus Wagner card valued at $500,000

A rare T206 Honus Wagner baseball card is up for grabs at SCP Auctions. It’s nicknamed “the Original Wagner” as it was the first of these hard-to-find cards referenced in the mainstream media.   

Its first appearance was in a 1930 edition of the Newark Evening News.

Honus Wagner original

The original story shows the T206 Honus Wagner on the top right

The paper featured a photo story on the collection boxing journalist Willie Ratner had acquired over the years.

Since then it’s passed through the hands of a small number of well documented owners, most recently a J Ross Greene.

Greene paid $48,500 for the card in 1995. It’s now expected to make around $500,000. That sum would be significantly higher were it not for the card’s low grade (PSA 1).

The record for the issue is $3.1m, set for a PSA EX 5 copy at Goldin Auctions last year.

Greene explained in an interview with Sports Collectors Daily: "It’s probably a bit of a surprise but when you have prices go up based on scarcity, provenance and the history of such an iconic thing, nothing surprises me in terms of value anymore.

"It all comes down to how much somebody wants to spend on a Wagner. And there will never be another Wagner like this one."

"When I learned of the history of the card, it really made it more iconic in my mind. And I viewed myself as a steward or a caretaker at that point.

“I am honored to have been the fourth caretaker and protector of this iconic piece of Americana and the National Pastime."

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