Today’s Pittsburgh Pirates Card of the Day celebrates one of the greatest players in baseball history. Honus Wagner was born 149 years ago today in Chartiers, Pennsylvania. He played for the Pirates from 1900 through 1917. His 120.1 WAR during that time is easily the best mark in franchise history. His career 130.8 mark is the tenth best of all-time.
If you don’t know who Honus Wagner is, this site is either the worst place for you or the best. He gets mentioned a lot, and he gets multiple Card of the Day articles each year. Today’s featured card is from a set we have only looked at once before. That first look was somewhat recently (considering we started this daily series almost three years ago to the day). I’m going to get right into the photo so I can explain something from the title.
Here’s the front of the card:
First is a quick remind on the name of these sets. The “E” stands for early candy, mostly caramel, while the “92” part was randomly chosen at first, but it’s part of an order of sets starting with E90. These cards were not called E92 when they were released. That came along many years later to help catalog the sets for the first time. For reference, this card was released as the same time as his iconic/ultra-famous T206 card that goes for seven-figures now. This card does not go for nearly that much, but it’s not much tougher to find. There aren’t thousands of these cards out there.
The title notes that he’s throwing in the photo. That’s another early catalog note because there’s no numbers on the card, but Wagner does have a batting pose in the set. As you might expect, that one is called “batting”.
I could have gone with another scan, but I wanted to show some early 20th century printing issues. You can see from the scan that these card was not cut correctly. Not only are the borders different sizes, the card was cut on a bit of an angle. If there was a quality control stage back then, I’d hate to see the cards that didn’t make it.
The other thing to notice here is not only was the cutting off, but the printing itself was off. You can see it well in his hat and his lips being off to the side. There are some collectors who collect older cards with issues because they enjoy seeing the behind the scenes of the printing process. There are other collectors who won’t want this card due to the printing being off. This particular scan is from a higher grade copy, so whoever is buying it, has the money to spare, but they probably want the best.
Here’s the back of the card:
I didn’t really need to upload a different photo for this card. I could have used the same one from the previous E92 article. I did want to show that the printing was off on the back of this card as well, plus this is the only copy on Ebay right now, so you’re seeing both scans for a card that cost more than most new cars (and it will likely hold its value much better). Not much to talk about here. They just tell you what you got and who you got it from. John H Dockman & Sons used these cards as an advertisement for their product. In this instance, it came with a package of baseball gum.
This auction price actually gave me a good laugh. I don’t have a really good idea on the prices here because there aren’t many comparisons. The market on older cards has also gone up a lot recently, so any price over a few years old wouldn’t help. It’s also graded SGC 60, so you would need one graded the same for a true good price comparison. The asking price is $39,999. The part that made me chuckle is that there’s also a $10 shipping charge. Imagine paying $40,000+tax, then being told $10 more for shipping, which will clearly be more than $10 with the insurance.