Rare Honus Wagner T-206 card sells for record $7.25M

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Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner is still setting records some 67 years after his death.

A T-206 Wagner card - one of the rarest and most famous sports cards in existence - was sold in a private sale for $7.25 million, Goldin Auctions announced Thursday. It set a new record price for a sports card, beating the old mark by nearly $1 million.

The previous record belonged to a different T-206 Wagner card that fetched $6.6 million last year.

"I've been in this business for a very long time and seen a lot of incredible trading cards and pieces of memorabilia, but there is nothing on earth like a T-206 card," Goldin executive chairman and founder Ken Goldin said in a statement obtained by Sports Illustrated's Michael Shapiro. "The card is art, it's history, it's folklore."

The T-206 card series was produced by the American Tobacco Company in the 1900s. All the prominent baseball stars of that era were featured, but Wagner didn't want his image being used. Some accounts say Wagner objected to his card being sold in cigarette packages; others speculate he wanted more money.

Wagner successfully had his card removed from circulation. As a result, only about 50-60 copies of the Wagner T-206 are known to exist today, making it arguably the most sought-after sports collectible regardless of condition.

Wagner collected 3,420 hits and won eight batting titles during his remarkable 21-year career from 1897 to 1917, primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was elected to the Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 1936 and is still considered one of the greatest shortstops of all time.

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Rare Honus Wagner T-206 card sells for record $7.25M
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