Memory Lane Inc. to auction PSA 2 Honus Wagner

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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 Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


  1. Richard
    Posted March 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if we will ever see a modern day 1/1 card sell for that amount.
    Let’s say you have someone who becomes a modern Icon like
    Jordan, Kobe, Lebron, Gretzky, Pujols, Montana etc.

    Let’s make it a RC parallel and autographed.
    They make a big deal about there only being 50 or so of the Honus Wagners, but
    we now have RC’s being made with a production of only 99.
    There are great RC parallels like Bowman Chrome Red #’d to 5.
    Still, can anyone of us really see even a Pujols level talent commanding millions?

    And, once we consider it silly, does not the Wagner seem way over priced?

    It’s not like we are talking about Babe Ruth or Cy Young. Everyone know those
    guys and what they did, Wagner is best known now for his trading card, not even
    a RC, that was pulled because of a licensing disagreement (he wanted more money)
    and a legend (the claim that he did not want kids seeing him on a tobacco card).

    I fully admit that I participate in the silliness, spending good money on a Harper auto
    to complete my Bowman Platinum set, but at some point we have to admit that the
    Emperor has no clothes or that Tulip bulbs are over priced.
    (At one time people were asking, and getting, the equivalent of 10 years salary of a
    skilled workman for a bulb. So figure $500,000 give or take in today’s money.)

  2. AP
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    It’s not overpriced if somebody is willing to pay that much.

  3. Kevin
    Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    AP, right on brother. value is simply what someone will pay for it.

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