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This Week In Extravagant Spending, the Honus Wagner T206 Card

If it were us, we also wouldn't want it known we paid this much money for a baseball card.

We’ve all been there, paying way too much for something we don’t actually need, just want. But at least we didn’t pay 7.25 million dollars for a Honus Wagner T206 card. There’s that.

Both the buyer and the seller of the card remain anonymous, which is probably what we’d want to be if we’d paid that amount of money for a baseball card. It is the most ever paid for a trading card, and ironically, it breaks the industry record of $6.6 million paid for a different T206 Honus Wagner trading card. Basically, the man has been dead for over 75 years, but he’s still breaking records.

The T206 Honus Wagner and the 1953 Topps Mickey Mantle are widely considered the two holy grail baseball cards. Not many exist, the players and really, really famous, and they don’t really pop up all that often, so when they do, collectors typically pounce. This trend has gotten more pronounced since the pandemic began, with trading cards considered a viable alternative to assets like rare art. And, you can, presumably, also display them at home, though most people are most likely to appreciate a painting than a trading card.

Wagner played in the majors from 1897 to 1917, almost entirely for the Pittsburg Pirates. Better known to collectors and history buffs alike, he was part of the Hall of Fame’s inaugural 1936 class of inductees and won eight batting titles in his career, a record that remains unbroken to this day and has only been matched by Tony Gwyn.

The mythology surrounding this particular card’s rarity stems from Wagner’s apparent opposition to it, though no firm reason for his opposition has ever been confirmed. Either way, his feelings about it led to a smaller amount of cards than usual, which is how we are here today, with one of them selling for over seven million.

Cheers to whoever has that much money spent on a trading card, and let us hope they have people in their lives who actually understand the value of it. It would suck to spend all that money on something only for your family to say you should have gotten a painting or something.