Honus Wagner is widely considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. But for collectors, the Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop is also one of the most elusive: In 1911, three years after the American Tobacco Company began distributing the T206 Honus Wagner card, the player insisted that it halt production. The reason, it is widely believed, is that the athlete didn’t want his young fans buying cigarettes in order to obtain his card. As such, no more than 200 examples were ever distributed; today, only 60-odd are known to exist.
Can you imagine selling your most prized possession for the sake of your family? That’s exactly what J. Ross Greene is going later this month when he auctions off one of the rarest baseball cards that exists in the world. Greene is one of only a handful of people who own a Honus Wagner T206 baseball card that originated in 1909.
A Peachtree City man is ready to part ways with a treasured baseball card. Back in 1995, Ross Greene paid nearly $48,500 for a Honus Wagner baseball card. While that may seem like a hefty price, last year someone paid $3.12 million for what’s considered the holy grail of baseball cards.
As we reported last month, a T206 Honus Wagner card last sold in the 1990s has been consigned to SCP Auctions. J. Ross Greene, a long-time collector from Peachtree City, Georgia has held the card since then. It’s believed to be the first one ever featured in a newspaper story and that decades-old lineage is a big part of the appeal.
SCP Auctions is proud to announce that its 2017 Spring Premier online auction will feature the J. Ross Greene Collection. Born of a childhood passion for sports and history, the collection represents a lifetime accumulation of cards and memorabilia honoring diamond and gridiron greats from the turn of the century to the modern era. The depth of Greene’s passion is reflected in the vastness of his collection, which boasts more than 100,000 pre-war and post-war baseball and football cards gathered over more than half a century. In addition to complete runs of Topps and Bowman baseball and football sets, the collection includes hundreds of Hall of Fame stars and key rookie cards to be offered as singles and group lots.
A low-grade Honus Wagner T206 baseball card with a lengthy lineage in the hobby is hitting the auction block as part of a meaty collection of vintage cardboard. The J. Ross Greene Collection will be handled by SCP Auctions later this month and it includes “a lifetime accumulation of cards and memorabilia honoring diamond and gridiron greats from the turn of the century to the modern era” and “boasts more than 100,000 pre-war and post-war baseball and football cards” with many of them in runs of complete sets.
The baseball crazy youngsters who pestered smokers and caused a major uproar in 1909 upon the release of the American Tobacco Company’s trading cards knew it. Honus Wagner was a huge star but finding his picture was a pain in the Heinie.