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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/3/2023

Among the most attractive card sets from the early 1900s is the National Sporting Life Company’s W600 set. From 1902-1911, more than 650 different cards were issued (the exact number of variations and players is not known). We do know that there are 4 types designated to date and this copy has been designated a type 4 by PSA. Type 4's encompass the most elaborate design and showcase the crossed bats with larger, white lettering inside an embossed scroll-like design according to PSA's description. Therefore, in our opinion, the Type 4 has the greatest eye appeal and collectability.

Each piece features a player portrait taken by renowned photographer Carl Horner which is mounted to a 5” x 7-1/2” cardboard frame. The greatest players of the era are included in the set, and perhaps none are more desirable than this example of Honus Wagner. Sporting Life included several different Wagner cards in their long-running series depicting him in uniform and in street clothes with differing photo captions, but this version remains the most sought after. Wagner wears his Pittsburgh road jersey and is identified as "John ("Hans") Wagner" in the caption.

The image may seem familiar as it is same one used as the basis for Wagner’s iconic T-206 tobacco card. While the value of any T-206 Wagner in any grade is more than likely to exceed 7-figures, this W600 "Uniform" card carves a path for a more “modest” collector to add a high value Wagner piece to their arsenal for a few million dollars less.  Issued from 1902 to 1911, this piece was released during the prime of Wagner’s storied career. Furthermore, these W600 Uniform cards are quite rare with only 13 graded by PSA across all type designations. By comparison, PSA has graded 36 exemplars of that Wagner T-206.

From 1902 to 1911, the shortstop led the National League in batting seven times, doubles six times, and stolen bases four times. Besides his work at the plate, Wagner essentially defined the way shortstops fielded their position for generations to come. The reverse of the Sporting Life cabinets were issued with blank backs, but this example features “May 23, 1906 Cambridge, Ohio” handwritten in black fountain pen. Presumably penned by a super-fan of the Hall of Fame shortstop as Cambridge is a relatively short jaunt down the highway from Pittsburgh. That is why PSA has assigned the MK designation to this stunning card.  While many cards that are designated as MK's have distracting marks that decrease their desirability, that is not the case here. We think that the elegant inscription of the date and the location adds genuine provenance to the card and increases its desirability & value.

This beautiful W600 Uniform example has been encapsulated and graded EX 5 by PSA – it is a pop 1 with only one graded higher across all type designations. That only higher graded Wagner W600 is a Type 4 PSA NM 7. In our opinion, if that copy surfaced anytime soon (to our knowledge it will not be offered for a long time), we'd estimate its value in the $500,000-$1M range.

ESTIMATE: $200,000+


1902-11 W600 Sporting Life Cabinets John "Hans" Wagner (Pittsburgh Uniform) – PSA EX 5 (MK) -- Pop 1, One Higher!
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $50,000
Final prices include buyers premium.: $87,846
Number Bids:5
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