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Honus Wagner baseball trading card sold for $2.1 million

April 06, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • The front and back of the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner jumbo baseball trading card.
The front and back of the 1909 T206 Honus Wagner jumbo baseball trading card. (Associated Press )

A 1909 Honus Wagner baseball trading card was sold Saturday for a record $2.1 million in a public online sale, according to Goldin Auctions, which did not identify who purchased the rarest of collectibles.

The New Jersey-based company closed bidding on the T206 card of the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop early Saturday. The sales price eclipsed the $1.62 million the same card fetched in 2008. The record price for a trading card is $2.8 million in a private sale in 2007.

The card is graded as an Excellent 5 by Professional Sports Authenticator and is exceptionally rare because it's part of a jumbo series that is larger than the normal trading card.

The T206 series was originally distributed by the American Tobacco Co. in packs of cigarettes.

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., has another T206 card of Wagner on display above a sign that reads: “Wagner’s fame, the scarcity of the card and the story behind it make this baseball’s most famous collectible.”

Wagner, who was part of the inaugural Hall of Fame class, batted .328 in 21 seasons, including 18 with the Pirates. He broke into the majors in 1897 with the Louisville Colonels of the National League. The Pirates acquired him in a trade before the 1900 season. He won eight batting titles and was the NL most valuable player three times, from 1911 to 1913.

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