HONUS WAGNER CARD
BRINGS OVER A MILLION
Honus has hit the road again. The "Mona Lisa of Baseball Cards,"
the Honus Wagner T206 tobacco card was sold on eBay for $1.1 million, plus a buyer's
premium of $165,000. The buyer was Brian Seigel, a collector from southern California.
Siegel started collecting baseball cards at age 10 or 11, quit, and then began collecting
again in the mid-1980s. He has been an avid collector of tobacco cards, and he was
reported by eBay as having '...a good number of the T206 series cards." The Honus
Wagner card is now the jewel of his collection.
The former owner, Michael
Gidwitz, said after the sale that the money was not the most important thing in this
transaction...having a good time was. The good time lasted about 10 days as the famous
card was featured for sale on eBay from July 5th to the 15th. However, only pre-registered
buyers who deposited $100,000 in escrow and bid in $50,000 increments could join in the
auction. On July 13th, two days before the sale was to end, the high bid stood at
Since the sale, Gidwitz has been
interviewed by CBS, the BBC and numerous other media. He was interviewed extensively by
the BBC as to why this card was so rare and so valuable. He also outlined for the British
the card's historical progression of ownership through the hands of Wayne Gretzky and LA
Kings hockey team owner Bruce McNall, Treat Entertainment (which engineered a give-away of
the card with Wal-mart), Patricia Gibbs (a postal employee who won the Wal-mart
give-away), Michael Gidwitz, and now Brian Seigel.
The CBS film crew spent hours
filming Gidwitz' private collection and were struck by the depth and breadth of it.
"My collection records the
history of baseball on uncut sheets of cards," he said. "The crew planned to
spend about two hours filming. They ended up staying an additional 2 3/4 hours filming
it." Obviously, they liked what they saw.
Gidwitz purchased the Wagner card
at a Christie's auction in 1996 for the then record price of $640,000. Today, he is
extremely happy for being the first person to sell a baseball card for more than $1
The only question left now is,
how long before Honus hits the road again?
The traveling $1,265,000
Honus Wagner card.