Here’s a new record price for a trading card at public auction! The 1909-11 T206 White Border Honus Wagner PSA EX 5 (MC) sold for a record $3.12 million, making it the first $3 million sports trading card. The previous owner – an anonymous buyer, probably Larry David – paid $2.1 million for the card in 2013, so that person made a nice million off the card in just three years. Ken Goldin, whose Goldin Auctions handled the sale, had predicted that the card could break the $4.4 million record price paid for any piece of sports memorabilia, set in 2012 for a Babe Ruth game-worn jersey from 1920, but that didn’t happen.
However, a T206 Honus Wagner card topped the $2.8 million paid privately in 2007 for a different T206 Wagner card, the so-called “Gretzky” Wagner (because it was once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky).
Also sold during the same auction is a LeBron James Upper Deck autographed rookie card from 2003 sold for $312,000. It’s a new record for an autographed card, according to Goldin Auctions.
If it sounds crazy that someone paid $3 million for a baseball card—and even crazier that someone paid more than $300,000 for a basketball card that is only 13 years old—prices are only going to go up from here.
The Great American Trading Card Auction included six cards with a PSA 10 GEM MT rating, five cards designated as 1 of 1’s and four cards recognized as 1 of 2. Remarkably, 12 cards sold for more than $100,000 with eight lots surpassing $200,000 and five cards exceeding $300,000.