A Look at The Reasons Why The Honus Wagner Card is So Valuable

Published on August 16th, 2021 1:39 pm EST

The most valuable sports card.  Honus Wagner T206 baseball card. Earlier this week, a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card sold for $6.6 million, which is a new record for the rare and valuable card.

The Honus Wagner card that sold this week is reportedly one of the best such cards in existence, as it is in better shape than most of the other 60 Honus Wagner T206 cards in existence.


The Honus Wagner card really first came to prominence in 1991, when Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall purchased the card for $451,000. They didn't hold the card for very long, as Gretzky would sell the card four years later for $500,000.

Now, thirty years later, the card is selling for roughly 10x the amount that Gretzky and McNall paid for it.


One of the most frequently asked questions about this card is - why is it so valuable?

The main reason? Scarcity.

There are only roughly 60 of these cards that are known to exist in the world.

The card was only scarce, as the company that produced the card reportedly only printing between 50-200 of them, compared to upwards of 100,000 for the rest of the cards in the T206 series.

So, the card is very rare straight out of the gate.


Why were there only 50-200 Honus Wagner cards printing in the T206 series?

Historians and Wagner's family members disagree on the reason.

Wagner's family believes that Honus Wagner didn't want his likeness being used to promote cigarette smoking (these T206 cards were included in packs of cigarettes), so they believe that he asked the company to stop printing his card. Historians, however, largely disagree with this theory.

Another theory has that there was a copyright dispute that halted the printing of the Wagner card.

Yet another theory states that the printing press broke when it came time to print Wagner's card, which is why so few of them were produced.

The last popular theory is that Wagner wanted more money for the company using his likeness, which resulted in them halting the production of his card.


The value of the card is also enhanced by the fact that Wagner was a very good player, as he hit .300 or better 15 straight times.


We will likely never know why there were so few of the Honus Wagner T206 cards produced, though that is certainly music to the ears of the lucky few people in the world who own the card.

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