Mint T206 Wagner Card: Where is it Now?

A spring 1972 issue of an early sports collecting publication reveals an incredible find.

Writer William G. Lowell penned a column about his discovery, but we are left to wonder...what happened to the T206 Wagner baseball card he is referring to?  Even if his definition of  mint does not match what we consider mint today, high grade examples are non-existent, except for the famous PSA 8 that many believe was cut from a sheet.  We also wonder about the reference to the elderly gentleman keeping everything in plastic, since it was invented after the T206 era.  Still, it is hard to dispute considering these cards were not really worth all that much in the early 1970s.

Here is what Lowell reported, reprinted from the Spring 1972 issue of The Sport Hobbyist:

I have something here that should make a pretty good story for The Sports (sic) Hobbyist and the whole of the card collecting community.  I guess you might call it the Cinderella story of the year.

I have just completed the discovery of, and purchase of a formerly unknown MINT copy of the Honus Wagner white bvorder T-206 card.  The story which goes with this card is as fascinating as the finding of the card itself.

When I got back into collecting six months ago, I placed a short ad in a publication and among the answers I received was a long letter from an elderly gentleman in New York City who offered several hundred T-206 cards to me along with 20 Turkey Red cards at an extremely good price.  I wrote for the Turkey Red cards.  When they arrived they were absolutely mint.

Because some of my T-206 cards were not real good (I had 521), I wrote him back about the condition of the T-206 he had offered.  I let him know that I had all but Plank and Wagner but that I could use about all of his 500-plus T-206 as replacements.  He wrote back that all his cards were mint and that he thought that he had the Wagner card that I was looking for.  As the story unfolded, I learned that he had collected all the cards which he eventually sold me when they were new 1909-1911 from friends of his family and from two uncles who lived with them.  He was 8 years old in 1909.  He is a collector, or better, accumulator of everything.

These cards he has kept packaged in plastic since they were new.  He is primarily a stamp collector and a postcard collector which is how he came to be familiar with the publication.  He claims to have received the Wagner card from one of his uncles out of a package.  He remembers this because of his special interest in Wagner.  If so, I think this is a new wrinkle, because if I am correct, it was felt previously that the card never made it to the open market.  He also has a large scrapbook at home with magazine and newspaper clippings and articles about Wagner and Plank.  He does not have the Plank card but he knows a friend who does and with my next letter I may be writing you that I have acquired that gem.

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