Card of the Day: 1910-11 M116 Sporting Life Honus Wagner

I’ve been working on a major history project over the last few weeks, which is why you haven’t been seeing any new Card of the Day articles. I was actually 11 days ahead on articles, so I’ve been working on a new book longer than it appears if you were judging just by the lack of Card of the Day articles. This project is probably going to take at least two months longer, with me personally setting a November 1st deadline to get it done. There will be a handful of these Card of the Day articles between now and when I get done, but they will start back up as daily articles as soon as possible.

I’m still updating the daily history articles every day, extending them, adding some info, rewording some things. That daily series will continue throughout this process. I basically had to decide which daily article to sacrifice, so I chose the Card of the Day. However, this is a new Card of the Day article!

Robert Edward Auctions recently just had a major auction close in which they received a lot of attention for some huge prices on cards and memorabilia. I noticed something interesting among the closed auctions, so I wanted to quickly share it here.

We have featured cards from the 1910-11 M116 Sporting Life set before here. It’s often called the pastel background set due to the background colors behind each player’s portrait. One of the more popular cards in the set features the immortal Honus Wagner, the greatest Pirates player ever, as well as the greatest shortstop ever.

This auction had two of these Wagner cards graded by SGC. Here’s the link to the one that graded 4.5:


Here’s the one graded an SGC 5/60, which is a half grade better:


Notice anything odd here?

The lower grade card ended for more than the higher grade. It’s not a significant amount as far as a percentage. These are expensive cards in any shape, which is why one ended at $30,000 and the other at $29,400. It’s just odd to see that the same cards graded by the same company in the same auction could end higher for the lower grade copy.

Part of that might have to do with the fact that the SGC 5 is in an older card holder, which you can tell by the label. You need to know that they changed label styles to know that fact, but you can see the old/new card labels in the scans above. I’d also check out the back scan while you’re there. It’s an interesting one in this set.

Here’s a scan of the card if you’re not into clicking links. This is actually the lower grade copy.

Two of these cards have recently ended on Ebay, both in lower grade. The most recent was a PSA 3 for $12,500, while the one from late May was a PSA 1.5 that went for $5,500. There’s an active one on Ebay right now, but don’t get excited just yet. It’s an SGC 86, which is equal to a 7.5 grade. If you have $110,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you can own that card. Perhaps the best part of that auction is that they are asking for $4.95 shipping!

Anyway, hope you’re handing the lack of Card of the Day articles okay. This will start back up the first day I can get them going again. I promise to have another one posted for September 9th. No spoilers. Beyond that it will probably just happen on slower days for me like today.