Rare 1909 Honus Wagner T206 Baseball Card in Sports Memorabilia Auction

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Bob & Sallie Connelly will auction Sports Memorabilia including a rare 1909 Honus Wagner T206 baseball card with Piedmont back on Saturday, August 12, 2006 at noon at the Showplace in Binghamton, NY and simultaneously live on the Internet at eBay Live via Live Auctioneers. The auction also includes over 175 other T206 cards, 37 P2 pins, over 200 autographs, and other sports related items.

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The feature item in Bob & Sallie Connelly's Sports Memorabilia auction on Saturday, August 12, 2006 is a 1909 Honus Wagner T206 baseball card -- one of about 50 Wagner cards in existence, and one of just three backed with an ad for Piedmont cigarettes. The rare trading card headlines an auction that includes over 175 other T206 cards and 37 P2 pins -- all PSA graded -- and over 200 autographs of Baseball Hall of Fame players, as well as other sports related items.

Online bidding and previews for the auction will begin on or about August 5 on eBay Live via Live Auctioneers, and conclude simultaneously with a live auction at noon at the Showplace in Binghamton, NY. Absentee and telephone bids will also be accepted. Previews will offered in Binghamton on Friday from 6:00-9:00 p.m., on Saturday at 9:00 a.m., and by appointment.

The Honus Wagner T206 card in this auction is owned by Cincinnati, OH entrepreneurs, John Cobb and his cousin, Ray Edwards. Cobb purchased the card in 1983 or 1984 from a speculator for $1800; its earlier provenance is unknown. It has a Piedmont (Factory 25) back, as does the card -- once owned in part by hockey star Wayne Gretzky -- that sold last year on eBay for $1.26 million. With the opening bid set at $300,000, the Connelly's anticipate a selling price of $750,000 or more.

The Cobb/Edwards card has not been PSA graded, but has been tested by Integrated Paper Services (IPS) of Wisconsin, and by independent printing consultant Arnie Schwed of Cincinnati. IPS said the card is consistent with early 1900s stock; they detected no components used in later periods. Schwed said the card is printed on factory bonded, not sandwiched stock using early 1900s methods; he said it is not a photocopy or scanned image.

Taking into account the authentication by IPS and Schwed, Bob Connelly appraised the card at $850,000, saying "the card has some discoloration at the top and the corners show wear but overall the condition is very good." In terms of PSA grading standards, Bob thinks it's probably a 4, an opinion seconded by sports memorabilia broker Mike Mangasarian after examining the card when he and Bob were interviewed recently by the New York Daily News.

The Wagner T206 card was one of a set of 523 issued by the American Tobacco Company between 1909 and 1911 to promote its various brands of cigarettes. The front portrays Honus Wagner, the celebrated Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop who was among the first five players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His card became an overnight rarity when he stopped its production, some say because he wanted a bigger fee. Wagner heirs say he didn't want children buying and smoking cigarettes to get his picture. Whatever the reason, only 50 to 60 Wagner T206 cards now exist, most backed with a Sweet Caporal ad, only three carrying Piedmont ads.

For the Cobb/Edwards card, the next step in its history is up to you. IPS authenticated the paper stock, Schwed the printing method. Bob Connelly says it's in very good condition and probably worth about $850,000. What it's really worth is up to you.

Bob and Sallie Connelly, whose business includes antiques, auctions, appraisals and an art gallery, have been conducting auctions in the Binghamton, NY area for more than 30 years. This Sports Memorabilia Auction will be held at their 40,000-square-foot Showplace auction facility at Binghamton Plaza. The Showplace is located at 33 West State Street, Binghamton, NY 13901-2461. The auction will be conducted simultaneously on the Internet at eBay Live via Live Auctioneers.

Additional details, a partial listing, and photographs of selected items are available on the Connelly's website and on request by phone (607-722-9593), fax (607-722-1266) or email to sallie@bobconnelly.com. Phone and absentee bids will be accepted online, by phone or fax on items over $50. Please visit the website or call for directions, complete terms and conditions.

For more information, visit he Connelly's website: http://www.bobconnelly.com


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