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

Top eBay Listings

1909-1911 T206 Herman Armbruster Polar Bear Back St. Paul RARE Vintage Tobacco
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Barney Pelty T206 - Vertical - El Principe De Gales - SGC 60 5
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Joe Lake T206 - No Ball in Hand - El Principe De Gales - SGC 60 5
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1909-1911 T206 Charley Carr Polar Bear Back Indianapolis RARE Vintage Tobacco
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T206 MIKE MITCHELL, CINCINNATI, SWEET CAPORAL PSA 4
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Nap Rucker T206 - Throwing - El Principe De Gales - SGC 60 5
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1909-1911 T206 Bill Chappelle Polar Bear Back Rochester RARE Vintage Tobacco
$29.95

T206 FRANK ARELLANES, BOSTON, SWEET CAPORAL PSA 4 VG-EX
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1909-1911 T206 Bill Clancy Polar Bear Back Buffalo RARE Vintage Tobacco
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Ed Willetts T206 - El Principe De Gales - SGC 80 6
$349.99

1909-1911 T206 Dick Egan Polar Bear Back Cincinnati RARE Vintage Tobacco
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Wild Bill Donovan T206 - Portrait - El Principe De Gales - PSA 4 - Low Pop
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1909-1911 T206 Dick Rudolph Polar Bear Back Toronto RARE Vintage Tobacco
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1909-1911 T206 Wildfire Schulte Back View Polar Bear Back RARE Vintage Tobacco
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T206 PIEDMONT GABBY STREET CATCHING PSA GRADED A GOOD+ 2.5
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1909-1911 T206 George Mullen Polar Bear Back Detroit RARE Vintage Tobacco Card
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Rob Bertrand

E-Mail Author | 
Rob is a former member of The Cardboard Connection Writing Staff and co-host of Cardboard Connection Radio.He is an avid collector with over 20 years of active experience in the hobby.

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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