T206 Honus Wagner

T206 Honus Wagner

T206 Honus Wagner

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The T206 Honus Wagner baseball card depicts Pittsburgh Pirates' Honus Wagner, a dead-ball era baseball player who is widely considered to be one of the best players of all time. James, one of baseball's premier historians and statisticians, ranked Wagner as the second-best player of all time, behind Babe Ruth. Wagner was also selected the shortstop on the Major League Baseball All-Time Team in 1997, and was one of three shortstops named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999. The card was designed and issued by the American Tobacco Company (ATC) from 1909 to 1911 as part of its T206 series. Wagner refused to allow production of his baseball card to continue, either because he did not want children to buy cigarette packs to get his card, or because he wanted more compensation from the ATC. The ATC ended production of the Wagner card and a total of only 60 to 200 cards were ever distributed to the public. In 1933, the card was first listed at a price value of US$50 in Jefferson Burdick's The American Card Catalog, making it the most expensive baseball card in the world at the time.

The most famous T206 Honus Wagner is the "Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner" card. The card has a controversial past, as some speculate that it was once altered, based on the card's odd texture and shape. The Gretzky T206 Wagner was first sold by Alan Ray to a baseball memorabilia collector named Bill Mastro, who sold the card two years later to Jim Copeland...
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