One of the most sought-after pieces of sports memorabilia hit an auction record high on Saturday when a 1909-11 T206 Honus Wagner card sold for $2.1 million.
Goldin Auctions sold the rare baseball card, known as the "Jumbo Wagner" for its slightly bigger size than most of the T206 Wagner cards, to an unnamed buyer. The price outdid the previous auction high of $1.6 million paid in 2008 for the same card.
Fewer than 200 cards of the Hall of Fame shortstop were made, reportedly because Wagner did not condone the card produced by the American Tobacco Company and its influence on children. Yet, Wagner was a smoker himself who endorsed cigars, causing some to question whether he was just upset over compensation for his image.
A Wagner card said to be in the best condition, although possibly trimmed to improve its condition, brought the highest price ever paid for the piece. It was once owned by hockey star Wayne Gretzky, and sold for $2.8 million in a private sale to Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick in 2007.