Talk about finding paydirt. You may or may not believe what you are about to read, but I promise it is the truth.
I own a T206 Honus Wagner card and it is practically in gem mint condition.
The holy grail of all card collecting.
Need proof? How about a scan. And bear in mind, this is NOT a “borrowed” image from another website. This is purely and honestly directly from my cheapo CanoScan Lide Scanner at home:
T206 Honus Wagner
See. I wouldn’t lie to you.
Alright, now before my inbox gets flooded with requests to see, touch, smell, and lick this historic goodness, and before my identity protection is compromised and I have petty thieves breaking into my house every night, I should probably qualify that bolded statement above. But before I do, let’s start with a story.
When I was about 7, I was really starting to take an interest in collecting cards. So much so, that it didn’t matter what was on the card. Baseball, football, basketball, Batman (the 1989 movie), Home Alone actors, or my local police force (who apparently thought handing out their own baseball cards to little boys was far less creepy than handing out candy from unmarked vans): it didn’t matter. If it was cardboard, measured 21/2” by 31/2” and featured something I had even a hint of recognizing, I wanted it. I even had a random card of a horse. No, not Secretariat or Affirmed, just a normal brown and white horse. My best friend at the time was also really into cards and we would often compare collections and trade.
One time we were looking through a magazine (probably an old Beckett) and saw an article about the T206 Honus Wagner and the fact that it was ridiculously valuable. I looked at my friend and said, “I have that card!” Naturally he did not believe me, and because I didn’t want to feel obligated to share any of my possible wealth, we changed subjects and continue with our childhood activities of the day. Not long afterwards, I pulled out my blue Baseball Card Dugout and sure enough, there it was. I couldn’t help but think, Oh man! I’m gonna be rich! To make things even sweeter, I realized that I had a duplicate! DOUBLE BONUS! All I had to do was figure out who could help me sell it and I would be able to buy all of the candy, baseball cards, and toys I could dream of. I could even keep one of the copies just to prove to all my friends that I had one AND still have tons of disposable income.
There was, as I’m sure you have figured out by now, a catch to this whole grand scheme. It wasn’t until I turned the card over that I realized the sad truth:
To my well informed readers, you can spot the obvious problem with this situation. I must admit though, that my 7-year-old mind was so convinced I had hit the card collecting jackpot that my first reaction was, Why would they just describe the card on back and how did they know it would be worth $25,000 someday? And besides, I thought it was worth over a MILLION dollars! Then it dawned on me.
This wasn’t a real T206 Wagner.
So what started as a special discovery of unimaginable wealth prospects quickly turned into the realization that all I had was two worthless reprints. Awesome. I hate to admit it, but the aforementioned bolded statement needed to be qualified as such: I own a T206 Honus Wagner replica/reprint card and it is practically in gem mint condition.
To this day, I still have to laugh anytime I see, hear or read a reference to the Holy Grail as I think to myself, I have that card! I have no idea how I came about obtaining these replicas. I have a few other tobacco style reprints and a 1935 Knute Rockne National Chicle football card. I just remember always being annoyed with them (except for that short time when I thought they were actually valuable) because they were not standard sized cards and would always fall out of stacks and dig into my hands as I was collating my collection.