Timeline of the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner, the World's Most Valuable Baseball Card

Timeline of the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner, the World’s Most Valuable Baseball Card

The well-documented story of The Card, a Near Mint T206 Honus Wagner, is a tale of intrigue, high-finance, corruption and fraud. Forever cemented in hobby lexicon, the chain of ownership of this cardboard treasure is documented here in an easy-to-understand timeline.

One of the characteristics the PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner has carried throughout its history is the fact that it has increased in value every time it has changed hands. This dates back to its original acquisition by the former CEO of MastroNet Auctions, Bill Mastro in 1985. For years, The Card, as it has long be referred to by collectors in the hobby, has been a headline-making machine in mainstream news outlets across America.

The lore of the card's existence is one of rumor, speculation and innuendo. Some believe that the relatively rare card was pulled from production over a rights dispute with Mr. Wagner and the tobacco company that produced the card. Others prefer to believe the more altruistic tale of his scorn for tobacco. Whatever side of the story one chooses to believe, there is no denying that the T206 Honus Wagner card is what cardboard legends are made of. Much like a cherished family story, it is a tale that's passed down from one generation to the next, getting bigger every time.

The tale of the PSA8 T206 Honus Wagner is a story that continues to be written. Not by hobby professionals -- graders, dealers, authenticators -- or collectors but instead lawyers and court reporters. The near pristine condition of the card may not be all that it appears. Recent events and court proceedings regarding the business dealings of Bill Mastro have created new questions regarding The Card. The answers, unfortunately, bring more questions, further contributing to the seemingly never-ending saga of this piece of hobby history.

PSA 8 T206 Honus Wagner Timeline

Click on the image for a full-size view.

The Card Timeline 260x195 Image

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1909 T206 Payne Chicago White Sox G-VG Tobacco Card
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T206 Christy Mathewson White Cap ** PSA 1.5 ** Sovereign 150 - Baseball Legend
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1909 T206 #76 Frank Chance (Batting) Sweet Caporal Back
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1909 T206 #313 John McGraw (Portrait, no cap)
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1909 T206 #474 Joe Tinker (Bat off shoulder) Sweet Caporal Back
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1909 T206 Sweet Caporal Walter Johnson Portrait PSA 4
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1909 T206 #241 Willie Keeler (Portrait) Blue Piedmont Back
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1909 T206 #295 Rube Marquard (Follow-through) Sweet Caporal Back
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1909 T206 Johnny Evers
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1909-11 T206 Dutch Jordan Piedmont back
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1911 T206 Hooks Wiltse New York Giants National Card Sweet Caporal Back Good
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(24274) 1909-11 T206 Ray Demmitt New York AL-GD
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T206 Charlie Rhodes Tolstoi SGC A 1909-1911 St. Louis Cardinals
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1909 T206 Piedmont CHARLIE STARR PSA 5.5 Looks 6
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Rob Bertrand

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Rob Bertrand is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby. He is one of the site's most accomplished writers, as well as the co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio. You can follow him on Twitter @VOTC.

User Comments

  1. 1) Even though it happens to have a serial-number of “00000001,” it was NOT the very first card ever graded by PSA.

    2) Before he went to prison in 1994, McNall sold his 50% share of The Card to Gretzky.

    3) Gretzky sold The Card to Wal-Mart sometime in late ’94/early ’95 for $500,000.

    4) Gidwitz bought The Card for $640,500.

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