Multi-million dollar sports card shatters record

1 month ago 12
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A baseball card of Pittsburgh Pirates great Honus Wagner has sold for a record-shattering $US $AUD9 million.

The card has been described as the "Holy Grail" of sports memorabilia and attracted plenty of interest among sports fans with deep pockets.

Bidding started at $US1 million rocketing to $US2.8 million before it settled on the final price, according to Robert Edward Auctions based in New Jersey.

ESPN reports the price of over $US6.6 million surpassed the previous record of $US5.2 million for a sports card.

There are only about 50 cards of the legendary Pirates shortstop known to exist, among the set of more than 500 cards released from 1909-1911 by the American Tobacco Co.

The reason why it's considered so rare is because he demanded the company stopped using his likeness to market tobacco to children.

And sure enough, on the back of the $9 million card sold, there is an advertisement for Sweet Caporal Cigarettes.

The card's origins can be traced back to sports memorabilia collector named Bill Mastro, who bought a Wagner and nearly two dozen other T206 cards for $US25,000. Two years later, he sold just the Wagner to a card collector for $US110,000.

The card would continue to be sold and resold by prominent auction houses until it was labelled the "most expensive card in the world" after Ken Kendrick, principal owner and managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, purchased it for $ US2.8 million in 2007.

Wagner was one of five players inducted into the Hall of Fame in its inaugural class of 1936 and played in MLB for 21 seasons from 1897 to 1917.

He passed away at the age of 81 in 1955.

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