Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hans in Blue

After years of immersing myself in the vintage baseball card hobby, I feel like I can identify most cards by type. It isn't very often anymore that something shows up that I haven't ever seen before.

That said, I was pleasantly surprised when someone posted a picture of this Honus Wagner card on a the Net54 vintage card message board.

My first thought was that he was playing a joke on the board and he was good at Photoshop. However, after contacting the poster, he assured me that this was an uncatalogued Wagner card.

He had won it on eBay a while back and said it had originally sold in a Mastro Legendary Auctions in August 2004. At that time it was part of a larger lot of prewar cards. (A nice lot I must say). Check out the original auction listing here.

Apparently, there are only 2 examples of this card known at this time. I love finding out about a new card. It's even better when that card is of the caliber of a Wagner. Better yet? When there are only 2 copies known to exist!

I wanted to make sure to share this with anyone who follows my blog (I know I'm not posting as much as I should, but I'm glad some of you are still checking it out) because this is the sort of thing you need to know when you're serious about your hobby.

One of the two examples was labelled at one point as a "w-unc" by PSA. I assume they gave it the W label because it is blank backed, but from what I'm told, it's not much like a strip card other than the blank back.

The other known copy, sold in a Heritage Auction in April 2009 and resides in an SGC holder with the label, "C. 1910 E-Unc Candy". This makes a bit more sense to me than a W label. Check out the Heritage listing here.

This SGC example closed at $4,481.25 with the buyer's premium. I'm a bit surprised at this figure to be honest. I would have thought that such a rare Wagner would have brought a lot more than this. I guess maybe the fact that it isn't well known and doesn't have any advertising on it kept the price down, but seriously? Only two known and less than $5K?

I think with a little good press in the hobby and the right exposure, one of these babies could fetch a much better sum in a good auction.

I guess time will tell. Personally, I think it's an awesome card. Even if it doesn't have the most clear image or any advertising.

Well, enjoy the hobby all. It's a great one.


Captain Canuck said...

that's awesome... just when you think you've seen it all...

Greg said...

I collect obscure and scarce Cobb, Wagner and Joe Jackson cards and have found that rare does not often equate to expensive. It is possible for something to be so rare that its value is impacted. This Wagner issue, while crude, is beautiful in its own right and reminds me of the D380 Ty Cobb. I too was shocked at the price in Heritage's auction and felt it would have gone for twice as much as it did. Great card and it would be great to know the story behind the issue.

Anonymous said...

These cards with the blue caption (known as 1910 W-Unc. Blue Caption) are probably an obscure candy issue and should be classified as an "E" card. They are not a strip card, most if not all Ive seen are machine cut. There are at least 4 different players known with commons like the Ohara and McCormick selling in the $200-$400 range, link to pics http://centuryoldcards.com/images/1910bluecapohara.jpg , http://centuryoldcards.com/images/1910bluecapmccormick.jpg that would place the Wagner in the $2K-$4K range. Like others said, some of the rarest cards are worth less than cards from more established sets. Not many will try to complete the blue caption set, because the complete checklist is not known. I have a few unique Ruths, and they are worth far less than some of the more common Ruths from established sets.