Card of the Day: 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars Honus Wagner

Today’s Card of the Day was my second choice and it found me. I wanted to use a Connie Mack card from 1994 that had a picture of him when he was a catcher/manager for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were also called the “Braves” for some of his time with the team (mid-1893 through early in 1895), though that gets lost in history, just like I called them Pittsburgh when there was no “h” at the end of the city name during that time. Before I get too far off on a tangent, let’s get back to the card I almost used here. The reason I didn’t use that 1994 card was that I couldn’t find good scans, plain and simple. However, my search for “Connie Mack Pirates” on the Ebays turned up today’s actual Card of the Day.

In 1951, Topps put out a set of cards called the Connie Mack All-Stars, which consisted of ten Hall of Fame players and one Hall of Fame manager. Care to take a guess on the latter? Included in that set was the greatest shortstop to ever play the game, Honus Wagner. So when I searched “Connie Mack Pirates”, that Wagner card came up. When I couldn’t find the 1994 scan I wanted, I switched gears to feature the 1951 Topps Connie Mack All-Stars card of Honus Wagner instead.

Here’s the front of the card:

I have an old price guide that was old already when I got it almost 20 years ago to use as a checklist for vintage sets. The description of this set made it sound like they were much tougher to find back then, but PSA has graded quite a few examples of each card. For instance, they have graded 104 copies of the Honus Wagner card you see above.

These cards actually work two ways. Some people left them how you see it presented above. The intended use was to pop out that Honus Wagner part of the card and then the bottom part works as a stand, so the card can stand up on its own. The cards all have red backgrounds and black & white photos, full body pictures in some baseball related pose. This original picture is semi-famous in vintage baseball photo terms, as you can find it through Google terms. You can also date in to 1912, as that’s the only year for that particular uniform, though some online sources don’t know that and have the wrong date.

Here’s the back of the card:

The back gives you a better look at the outline of the section that pops out, so this card can stand on its own. The fact that the person didn’t use this card as intended has helped the price for the current seller. The top/middle of the back gives you some facts about the career of Wagner, while the bottom tells you how to fold out the card and also lets you know that there are 11 cards in the set.

A little fun fact on Wagner’s career hit totals. His hits have changed multiple times over the years due to better research. He was recognized as having 3,430 for quite some time, then it went down to 3,415 as research cleaned up some mistakes, but the current number has been 3,420 for quite some time, and my guess is that is correct. It’s a lot easier to check now than in the past and I’m sure multiple people have done the research. However, you’ll still see people acknowledge the anniversary of his 3,000th hit each year on the wrong date, using the original information (3,430) that was updated a long time ago with the first change.

There are four of these on Ebay right now, though two are straight auctions that will be done before you read this article. The other two are the one shown above, which is a PSA 4 going for $1,220, and one that the seller calls Near Mint and they are asking $1,350 delivered, with a best offer option. I’ll note that it was on sale at the time of this write-up so that discount could be over before you see it. An ungraded one that was popped out recently sold for $165 delivered, so you might want to wait for an actual auction style listing.