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T206 Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb & Eddie Plank cards head to auction

Not often are T206 cards of Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb and Eddie Plank in the same auction, but that's the case with Mile High Card Co.'s September auction.

The three most coveted cards in the T206 series, and the entire hobby for that matter, will be featured in Mile High Card Company’s September Auction, marking perhaps the first time each of this legendary trio have appeared individually in the same auction.

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With the possibility of offering the most celebrated event to come along in years MHCC President and CEO Brian Drent said, “Words cannot express how fortunate we are to be able to offer these world-class cards in our Fall Auction. Each of these cards on their own is deserving of headlines, but to offer them all in one auction is the finest moment in the history of our company.”

All three cards will be on display at booth 612/614 at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago from July 31- August 4.

Anytime a T206 Honus Wagner card comes up for sale, it’s an event that earns media attention from coast to coast. Though it’s the flagship of the entire sports card collecting world, it’s also the one item that investors outside of the hobby strive to obtain, much like owning an original Picasso painting or a vintage Ferrari. Even people who know nothing of the baseball card market can identify the T206 Wagner, with “The Flying Dutchman’s” stoic portrait and surrounding pumpkin backdrop being one of the most recognized baseball images ever known. Even at a grade of PSA 2, it’s in the top half of the forty or so examples that PSA has evaluated.

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“While the card clearly has wear commensurate with the grade, what makes it particularly alluring is that the surface wrinkles are so light that they barely impede upon the iconic image. For this grade, it’s about as eye-appealing as you can get” Drent said.

The last public sale of a Wagner came in December, a PSA AUTHENTIC RESTORED example, with almost two years having gone by since one of this caliber was available.

A T206 Ty Cobb with a Cobb reverse would easily be the cornerstone of any other auction, but then again, it’s not every day that a T206 Wagner shares the spotlight with any other card. The highest graded example on record at PSA and the grand prize of “The Lucky 7” find in 2016, the T206 Cobb/Cobb is even more elusive than the Wagner with known examples numbering in the low twenties. The slightly glossy surface and “Ty Cobb – King of the Smoking Tobacco World” reverse are the two characteristics that distinguishes it from other T206 Red Cobb and ranks with the Wagner as the two most important issues ever produced.

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“The Cobb/Cobb is every bit as awe-inspiring as the Wagner and actually presents better than the grade with a clean image, outstanding centering and relatively sharp corners,” Drent said. 

Like the Wagner, the Cobb/Cobb card is shrouded in mystery as to its origin and why it exists in such scant numbers.

Under most circumstances, a T206 Eddie Plank card would lead off a world-class auction, but it will finish no higher than third best in MHCC’s September event. For reasons unknown, the Plank card is thought to have a population of only about 100 total specimens, higher than the Wagner and Cobb/Cobb but extremely sparse in comparison to just about any other issue. Matching the orange of the Wagner and the red of the Cobb, the bold blue backdrop of the Plank, along with his artful portrait, is an image that every vintage collector knows well. Graded SGC 3 VG, it’s one of the higher assessed specimens ever professionally graded and an amazing piece to add to any world-class collection or T206 Master Set.

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