The Honus Wagner T-206 (AP)For all the peaks and valleys the baseball card industry has experienced over the last two decades, one fact has remained a constant: People are willing to pay a great deal of money to own Honus Wagner's rare T-206 card.
Often referred to as the "Holy Grail" of sports card collecting, the latest one was sold on Friday morning for $1.2 million. Joe Holleman of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the buyer was an unidentified New Jersey resident and that it sold for about $300,000 more than a T-206 in similar condition sold for a few years back.
Historians estimate that 60 Wagner cards still exist, and many are in poor shape. Only 22 are in sufficient condition to have earned a grade from Sportscard Guarantee Corp. (SGC) or Professional Sports Authenticators (PSA), the industry's major grading firms. Goodwin's card was graded at a "VG-3" by SGC and is considered to be one of the top six in existence.
According to several websites that track T206 cards, one Wagner "3" sold in 2008 for $791,000 and another sold the next year for $925,000.
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The record price for a T-206 remains the $2.8 million that Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick paid for the one that was famously bought by Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall in 1991 for $451,000. Graded at an "8," it's believed to sport the best condition of any surviving T-206.
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