By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor
A PSA 2 specimen of the hobby’s most-famous baseball card is set to hit the auction block.
It’s a Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card, and it headlines Memory Lane Inc.‘s Holy Grail Auction, which launches on April 21 and ends on May 5. The opening bid is $550,000.
According to Beckett sales data, the Tustin, Calif.-based company last sold a PSA 2 for $294,337 in December 2006. Meanwhile, a PSA 8 was sold for a record $2.8 million in 2007. A PSA 2 typically sells for $500,000 or less, but with an estimated total of just 50 known to exist — many of those in worse condition — there aren’t too many alternatives for a prospective buyer when one comes to market.
However, the Wagner is not the only notable T206 card in the auction, nor is it the only rarity. Also up for grabs is a PSA 4 Eddie Plank, opening bid $50,000. Another is a PSA 3 W600 Sporting Life Christy Mathewson in uniform.
But it’s not all pre-war baseball, either, as a 1966-67 Topps USA Test Bobby Orr will be sold as will a group of high-grade 1951 Parkhurst hockey cards and a selection of Gem Mint 1986-87 Fleer basketball cards, including Rookie Cards of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Hakeem Olajuwon.
For fans of more modern baseball cards, the auction will include a PSA 5 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle and a run of Gem Mint PSA 10 cards from the 1970s for many Hall of Famers in both baseball and football.
Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.