‘All Star Cafe’ Wagner Set to be Sold
Robert Edward Auctions was schedule to offer a T206 Honus Wagner in its spring 2013 auction. This one was once owned by actor Charlie Sheen, who loaned the card for display at the All Star Cafe in New York back in the 1990s.
In 1998, workers in the Cafe actually successfully stole the card and sold it under the table to a private buyer. They stole the original and put a copy of the card back in the display case. For a while, nobody could tell the difference because of the viewing distance. Once they successfully stole the card, the nephew of the head chef at the cafe was assigned to sell the card to someone for cash. The nephew came across Al Rosen, the well-known dealer known as “Mr. Mint”. The man told Rosen that his grandfather saved the card and gave it to him as a gift. Rosen believed him and purchased the card in cash and it seemed like they got away clean with this robbery.
After a while, there was another display case in the cafe that apparently had been broken accidentally. The workers saw this as another golden opportunity presenting itself and they began planning their next move. This time, the display case housed the 1934 Goudey uncut sheet with #106 Nap Lajoie included in the sheet, also owned by Sheen. As the workers put their plan into action, again everything seemed to go smoothly and they decided to cut the sheet into pieces and sell the cards separately in order to avoid suspicion of how such a thing was acquired. The only problem with this second plan was that they never bothered to put a replacement in the case! This triggered an FBI investigation and they soon found that the Wagner card that now sat in the case was a fake. As everything began to unravel, the chefs were caught and the FBI solved the case and returned all of the stolen cards to Sheen, the rightful owner.
In 2001, that very Wagner card that was housed in the All Star Cafe for so many years was actually sold at auction for $78,000. Contrary to popular belief, the low grade T206 Wagner cards actually have increased in value much more quickly than the higher grade cards have gone up. This is simply because the demand for the lower grade Wagner cards are much higher and continue to increae. The ‘All Star Café’ Wagner most recently sold in 2009 for a total of $399,500! As you can see, the value of Wagner cards rarely does anything but go up and this card could be a great investment for anyone who can afford it.
On April 6, 2013, a PSA 5 (miscut) Wagner sold at auction for $2.1 million, just a few years after being purchased for $1.62 million.
The T206 "All Star Cafe" Wagner set to be sold by REA has a reserve of $100,000.
The auction catalogs were scheduled to be shipped about April 19, 2013 and the auction will close May 19.
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