While some parts of life during the coronavirus pandemic are being left behind as more and more people are getting vaccinated, some aspects are not. Namely, the expensive hobby of procuring high-value trading cards.
On Saturday, a Honus Wagner card set a record for the most expensive card of its kind ever sold. The card went for a whopping $3,751,500 at a recent auction, making it also the fifth most expensive card of all time.
The eventual sale price is impressive on its own — given that $3.7 million is almost certainly more than myself or pretty much everyone you know would ever spend on a baseball card in our lifetimes — but what’s really astounding about the sale is how that total speaks to the rarity of the Wagner card. This was rated a PSA 2, which means the card is only in “good” condition. Cards that sell for these kind of prices usually require PSA grades of 8 or higher. For example, a LeBron James rookie card that sold for a record $5.2 million earlier this year was graded a PSA 9.
Wagner, a baseball hall of famer, is regarded as one of best hitters the game has ever had. The shortstop helped lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 1909 World Series title, was an eight-time National League batting champion, a five-time National League RBI and steals leader. His T206 card is considered to be the “Holy Grail” of baseball card collectors because of how few were made at the time they were printed.