With Honus hype still as fresh as ever after the $2.35 million sale of the PSA 8 T206 Wagner, Lelands.com will try to keep the Dutchman Flying with its offering of the five-card uncut T206 strip that was once owned by Barry Halper.
According Mike Heffner, president of Lelands.com, the Wagner card on the strip may be the second-most-famous example of its kind. The card carries an estimate of $400,000 to $500,000.
Numerous stories surround this piece, which has made it somewhat of an urban legend.
According to The Barry Halper Collection of Baseball Memorabilia catalog, issued in 1999 by Sotheby’s, the strip was actually found many years ago in the attic of Wagner’s old house by the new owners, along with various personal effects, including correspondence and uniforms.
Another angle is that Wagner was against the promotion of tobacco products. The fact that he was never on a tobacco card, other than the T206, might add to that notion, but the more conventional wisdom is simply that Wagner wanted to be paid for the use of his likeness. Upset that his picture would be used on the card, he reputedly went to the printing company and wrestled it away from a worker, leaving some creasing and wrinkles.
An additional story is that the card was owned by Wagner and he carried it folded in his wallet or shirt pocket. That would explain the folds and creases.
In addition to the famed card strip, which includes Hall of Famers Wagner, Cy Young and Mordecai Brown, Lelands.com is also offering Wagner’s Pittsburgh house, and a slew of Hall-of-Fame-caliber pieces, in its 1,300-lot auction, which ends on May 18.
According to Lelands.com officials, the Long Island-based auction house is also highlighting an accumulation of boxing memorabilia, including the earliest known boxing gloves and shoes worn by Cassius Clay.
The boxing pieces include an 1892 Sullivan-Corbett full ticket, 1910 Johnson-Jeffries presentational photo album, Joe Louis’ tax return and letter to the IRS, and Mike Tyson’s marriage license for his Robin Givens wedding.
“The boxing section is comprised of several large collections,” said Heffner.
One of the collections came from the widow of World Boxing Hall of Famer, Jim Jacob’s.
“The Jim Jacobs Collection is really an interesting collection,” said Heffner. “It was consigned by his widow, Lorraine, and all the proceeds that she’s going to receive are going to go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Jim Jacobs Research Fund.
“Jacobs was a very early collector, and in the 1970s he was flying all over the world looking for tickets and boxing memorabilia. He also was Mike Tyson’s manager, so he had lots of boxing contacts.”
Baseball pieces are also be plentiful. Lelands.com is headlining pieces such as a 1960 Mickey Mantle game-worn Yankees jersey, Cap Anson game-worn cap, Enrique Wilson’s 2001 American League Championship ring and a 1923 Ty Cobb game-used bat.
Other key items include:
? Cap Anson silver presentational bat
? 1951 Joe DiMaggio game-used All-Star bat
? 1954 Stan Musial game-worn jersey
? 1939-40 Ted Williams rookie-era game-used bat
? 1937-40 Mel Ott game-used bat
? 1888-89 Cincinnati Red Stockings Victorian photograph album with original “Old Judge” cabinet cards presented to Long John Reilly by August Hermann
? 1920s ball signed by Ruth, Cobb, Walter Johnson
? 1930 New York Yankees team-signed baseball with Ruth and two Lou Gehrig signatures
? 1981 Cal Ripken Jr. Rochester Redwings game-worn minor league jersey
? 1969-70 Orr game-worn Bruins jersey
? 1959-60 Henri Richard game-worn jersey
? 1979-80 Wayne Gretzky rookie contract
? Jack Johnson vs. Tommy Burns stone litho fight poster
? Jake LaMotta fight-worn leopard-skin robe
? Sugar Ray Robinson first professional fight-worn robe
? 1960 Cassius Clay AAU Outstanding Boxer trophy
? 1965 Sugar Ray Robinson retirement trophy
? Dr. James Naismith large archive of letters
? Mid-1960s Pele game-worn Santos jersey
? 1990 Joe Montana game-worn photo-matched jersey from Oct. 21st game vs. Pittsburgh
To bid on its May 18 sale, visit Lelands.com.