ESPN short examines the $2.8 million Honus Wagner — and its legal baggage

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An ESPN 30 For 30 segment, “Holy Grail: The T206 Honus Wagner” explores the tale of the world’s most valuable baseball card as well as the allegations of its trimming before it was graded an 8 by PSA years ago.

The card most recently sold for $2.8 million to Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick. 

Check it out here — and let us know what you think of it all in the comments below.


  1. kingofminors1
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this Chris. Simply amazing piece. I wish it would’ve delved a little deeper based on some of the other myths, but all in all a great piece. I should make my wife watch it to prove you could make serious money in selling cards (albeit decades ago!).

  2. James
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:57 am | Permalink

    Just my opinion (which amounts to a hill of beans),but I think its a little too perfect. I have been card collecting for decades and have seen many cards from many eras in my days and have yet to see one that would be considered “vintage:” in such pristine condition. The borders are perfectly squared, the photo is perfectly centered,and the color of it shows no signs of aging at all. Even cards from the 1940s-1990s are notorious for having off-center photos and we are talking about a card well over 100 years old that looks this good? Just seems fishy to me. But, as I said, just my opinion. Great video. Thanks for posting :)

  3. Raylon
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    WOW, great article.

  4. rick
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    If anyone is at least a little bit interested in this please read “THE CARD” GREAT BOOK! Thanks for posting Olds.

  5. Dan Hromas
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Wonderful piece! Very intriguing! Thanks for posting this story and video!

  6. afff
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    great story th\nks for the post

  7. graham
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    I would not be surprised if the whole card is a total fake.

    PSA graders were in on it and there reputationas a grading company should be worthless.

  8. chrisolds
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Graham: Doubt that.

  9. Brad Barber
    Posted February 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    The serial number from PSA is number 1. That just seems little weird that very first card every graded by PSA was the most valuable card ever.

  10. card opinionator
    Posted March 1, 2013 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    If you want more detail, read the book this is based on. You are left with only two options for PSA. They were incompetent, or in on a fraud. This card should never be in the slab it is in. Its not what it claims to be.

  11. Posted March 1, 2013 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    In the early eighties, on several occasions I had the opportunity to buy what I considered to be hundreds of Mint condition T206s. They do exist. Today, I wish I would have bought them. Someone with more foresight than I, was smart enough to buy them at the seller’s price. Although no other Wagner comes close to this PSA 8, it is believable that one mint Wagner made it through the years.

    I sold 20-30 NrMt-Mt 1915 Cracker Jack singles to Bill Mastro on three occasions in the mid-eighties. I found him to be fair and professional. However, having been in business for many years, I have occasionally been fooled by people I trusted. This card is a very important piece in our hobby. I hope it was not trimmed.

    On the other hand, whether is was trimmed or not, it remains the most beautiful example of a T206 in the hobby. The story, the mystery, the news worthiness behind this card brings attention to this hobby. And, that is good.

  12. Posted March 2, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    i agree with card opinionator the card can be and should be reslabed. saying that, the only reason it won’t is because to many rich people have been fooled, and lets face it its about having something that is money, Charlie i know and visit your store so i know that you speak as a owner, i speak as a collector, fraud, cheating, is not good for the collecting world, money the root of all evil has killed most sports, i do agree the card is important piece in the hobby so why would you want it based on a cheating, lier.

  13. dante
    Posted March 3, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Fake or not, the story alone makes it valuable. Pesonally, I think the card is a complete manufacturd fake. It would betoo embarrassing, for the famous people who were fooled, so it will never be revealed as fake. Rich protect the rich. Happens in business all the tme. Whos gonna question them?? no one. I never have trusted PSA. Reason? because Becketts grades are always tougher to get. Its misleading to collectors. Ive een cards not deserving a 8.5 get 10’s. This just confirms my thoughts. A grader knew it was trimmed, but it was too pretty to bring up? WTF? You’re fired! And then even after hat people still think its real? Wuldnt tht alone keep you from spending $1000, let alone Millions? They are right, the card should be value at $800,000. Thats it. And people should be paying less to own it. And just a reminder, our country isin debt. why is cardboard having millions spent on it when our own children are starving?

  14. mlbscout
    Posted March 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Keith Olbermann was right about the transcendence of the set and it still being unmatched today.

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