Honus Wagner T206 PSA “Authentic” Sells For Record $1,968,000

September 14, 2023

An authentic 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner fetched an astonishing price of $1,968,000 at auction, breaking all previous records for a T206 Wagner “Authentic” card.

The auction in question was the Mile High Card Company’s that ran from August 2023 through September 8.

According to Mile High, the card was awarded its official Authentic designation after it was restored by a previous owner who wanted to remove some of the blemishes that were marking the original image.

This proved to be an extremely valuable decision as the card saw a significant hike in value with this copy previously having sold for just over $1.1 million only two years ago.

The T206 Honus Wagner card comes with a Sweet Caporal back and has since been graded as Authentic by PSA. In all, there were a total 52 bids submitted creating a final gavelled price of $1,968,000, which includes the buyer’s premium.

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Honus Wagner T-206 Record Breakers

The winning Wagner card bid beats the previous record by almost half a million dollars for an authentic PSA graded card. That amount was paid for a trimmed copy sold by Robert Edward Auctions back in April of last year at a cost of just slightly more than $1.5 million.

The world record price that was paid for an Authentic grade is held by the SGC-graded Wagner card that was once owned by Joe Garagiola and was sold at Heritage Auctions in 2021.

The latest card to be sold by Mile High has become the first Wagner card to reach such a market level valuation since Goldin Auctions sold a PSA 1.5 specimen for $3.7 million in October last year. That was the same card that attracted a winning bidding sum of just slightly more than $1.1 million in an SCP Auctions sale back in October 2021.

That is quite a leap in a relatively short space of time considering that, only as recently as December 2018, Wagner Authentic cards were being sold around the $500,000 mark.

This card had been graded Authentic due to the creases in the background of the card being touched up and restored.

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The continuous rise of T206 Honus Wagner cards

This most recent sale notes the continuing rise in popularity for Wagner T206 cards. There have been nine of these cards being sold at auction recently and each of them for a minimum of $1.1 million.

What’s more, since 2019, at least five of these cards have been sold by Mile High. This includes the Charlie Sheen All-Star Café PSA 1 card that was sold in March 2022.

Five months earlier, in October 2021, there was also a T206 with an SCG 3 grade that sold for $6.6 million through Robert Edward Auctions.

Elsewhere in Mile High’s auction, five other items went for a million dollars, or figures that were established after a buyer’s premium had been added to the final gavelled price. Graded a PSA 7, there was an unopened wax pack of 1948 Leaf Baseball that went for $206,017.62 after 41 bids had been cast. 

This set, which happens to be the first set of color baseball cards that were printed and issued after World War II, featured cards of Larry Doby, Jackie Robinson, Ralph Kiner, Stan Musial, Hal Newhouser Satchel Paige and Phil Rizzuto.

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The holy grails of the baseball card collecting hobby

While it is true that the Wagner card remains the card collecting’s top dog, there is another card that is nearly as iconic. The 1952 Topps card of Mickey Mantle is a card that holds a grade of 5.5 by SCG and was purchased in $131,231.16 in the Mile High auction.

The 1933 Goudey set is one of the most iconic sets to have been released during the Great Depression Era and so naturally was also picked up for six figures. The 239-piece card set is completely graded by PSA and SCG and went for $112,255.95.

The very first baseball card set that was produced by Goudey includes no less than four cards of Babe Ruth. Card number 106 featured Napoleon Lajoie and came with a 1934 card front and a 1933 card back. Because of its incredibly rare status, it was not to be included in the set.

Another item, related to the 1952 Mickey Mantle, a pack from the set, warranted a minimum of a million dollars when all of the bidding had been done. This would be the 1952 Topps baseball pack that was originally sold for a nickel that same year. However, come 2023, some 71 years later, the Mile High auction included an unopened version that sold for $104,045.70.

This pack’s PSA 7 grade makes it one of the highest-graded unopened packs of the legendary set. 

It was from the first in the series and could contain an elusive high-grade copy of card number one, Andy Pafko, or Hall of Famers such as Monte Irvin, Rizzuto, Robin Roberts, Duke Snider and Spahn.

Of course, the chance to catch a red back or black back also still exists as does the possibility of finding error cards of Johnny Sain or Joe Page.

However, there is only one way the bid winner could find out how lucky they have been and that is to open the pack, and something is telling us that they are highly unlikely to be doing that anytime soon.

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