Skip to main content

Authentic T206 Honus Wagner card sells for record price $420,000

An authentic T206 Honus Wagner card that sold for $188,000 in 2011, sold for $420,000 in Memory Lane's Holy Grail Rarities Auction in December 2018.

A restored copy of the famed T206 Honus Wagner sold for a record price of $420,000 in the recent Holy Grail Rarities auction hosted by Memory Lane.

Graded ‘Authentic’ by PSA, the card’s history can be traced back some 50 years. It last sold in a public auction in 2011 for $188,000. The price attained by Memory Lane makes this copy the most expensive Authentic example ever sold. Sixty-nine bids were made on the card.

Image placeholder title

The auction also included the number 2-rated 1962 Topps Baseball Master Set on PSA’s Registry. The 613 cards were sold individually for an aggregate total of $285,557. Every card offered was graded 8 or higher, with the vast majority at PSA 9 or 10. Leading the pack was the only Harmon Killebrew card ever to reach a 10 grade, which sold for $13,781.

The only signed 1928 Lou Gehrig Exhibit card on PSA’s Population Report, one carrying a ‘9’ autograph grade was the second highest-selling lot in the auction, netting $76,800 – a record price for any Gehrig signed card offered at public auction.

In all, auction proceeds totaled over $2.67 million. All prices include a 20-percent buyer’s premium.

Pre-war era cards drew plenty of interest from bidders. A 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson graded PSA 3 closed at $47,376, setting a record for the card in that grade. 

Collectors of the M101-5 set had the rare opportunity to land one of only six known copies of the short printed Bobby Wallace card. Graded 6, it sold for a record $22,735. Wallace was replaced by Zach Wheat not long after the presses began to roll.

Ty Cobb cards again proved to be popular in a strong vintage market. A PSA 5 1914 Cracker Jack hammered at $40,176, a PSA 9 from the Black Swamp Find ended at $37,776; a T206 Green Portrait graded PSA 5 sold for $19,780, while a PSA 5 Red Portrait reached $10,270, a record price for the grade. Other Cobb sales included a PSA 5 E90-1 ($10,615); a PSA 5 Close Candy ($14,060), and a T227 graded 4.5 which netted $11,982.

Other pre-war cards of note included a T206 PSA 7 Walter Johnson portrait ($14,337), a 1909 E102 Set of 25 Cobb graded PSA 4 ($19,913), and an 1887 Old Judge (N172) Ed Delehanty rookie graded PSA 5 ($15,734).

Image placeholder title

Numerous post-war cards rating among the best known examples were offered in the auction including a PSA 8.5 1952 Bowman Mickey Mantle which set a new record for the grade at $32,976. A PSA 8 1948-49 Leaf Stan Musial rookie closed at $25,776, while a PSA 9 1948 Bowman Yogi Berra rookie changed hands for $21,576. One of the three 1965 Topps Hank Aaron cards ever to reach a 10 grade went for $19,176, while a 1980 Topps Rickey Henderson rookie graded PSA 10 sold for $25,776. Football collectors gravitated toward the only PSA 10 1970 Topps Joe Namath, which sold for $19,135.

High-end cards of a much more recent vintage didn’t take a backseat in the auction. A 2009 Bowman Chrome Gold Refractor Mike Trout autograph (# to 50) sold for $44,400, while a 2007-08 Exquisite Kevin Durant rookie auto reached $41,380.

For complete auction results, visit