Laguna Niguel, CA - The Southern California based company will offer for the first time, a selection of items from the personal collection of one of baseball's most legendary figures. To many who saw him perform -- and to some present-day historians and analysts -- John Peter ("Honus") Wagner was among the greatest players in the game's history. In the realm of sports collectibles, Honus Wagner has no equal. The mystique surrounding his famous T206 baseball card made Wagner a household name, but to true baseball connoisseurs he has long been considered an elite-figure in the annals of the Great American Pastime.
SportsCards Plus will soon bring "The Flying Dutchman" to the hobby forefront once again with approximately 50 lots originating directly from the Honus Wagner estate. Each item from the collection is being offered on behalf of the Wagner family, and will include a special letter of authenticity. Among the collection are a variety of Awards, Autographed Items, Contracts, Original Photographs, Documents, and other Personal Effects. The centerpiece to the collection is a Tiffany sterling silver "loving cup" presented to Wagner by the National League in 1907. The 11" engraved cup, bestowed upon him in a surprise ceremony in New York City, was given in honor of Wagner's accomplishments and in recognition of his importance to the entire game of baseball. According to Wagner's granddaughter, Leslie Blair, "'Buck' (Honus) had little value for material things, however, this cup was one of his most prized possessions."
Other highlights include a large swatch of material from the sleeve of Wagner's 1908-09 uniform featuring the Pittsburgh Baseball Club "PBC" logo. According to SCP Auction Director Dan Imler, "The swatch was cut from Honus's jersey about twenty-five years ago. Apparently the jersey was somewhat worn and tattered, and the family saw no reason to keep it. Prior to discarding the treasure, they decided to remove the logo from the sleeve to frame and display as a keepsake. The survival of the swatch is a silver lining to another story to add to the book of heartbreaking hobby tales." Among the other more prominent items set to be offered are Honus Wagner's personal safe, 1908 Pirates players contract, and his posthumous award from Major League Baseball for being named the Greatest Shortstop of All-Time as part of the league's 100th Anniversary.Another cornerstone piece in the auction that is sure to turn the hobby on its collective ear is an incredible Game Ball hit by Honus Wagner in the final game of the 1909 World Series. The ball, used in the historic match-up against rival Ty Cobb and the Detroit Tigers, is considered by SportsCards Plus officials to be among the finest game balls known. An inscription on the ball reads, "Ball Hit by Honus Wagner of Pittsburgh Nationals – Winning Game and Championship from Detroit American – Oct/1909 – Kindness of Umpire William Klem". Imler states, "This ball represents the pinnacle of Wagner's career. After leading the Pirates to 110 wins in 1909, he bested Cobb and led his team to their first World Series Championship. In one of the most storied series in history, Wagner's performance was magnificent. This ball is simply awe-inspiring."
The Honus Wagner items, along with hundreds of other lots of fine memorabilia and quality sports cards, will be featured in SportsCards Plus's full color catalog as well as on the company's web site at www.sportscardsplus.com. Many of the premier items in the auction will be on display at the company's booth (#721-723) at the National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City from July 24th-27th. The auction will be open to registered bidders during the last week of July and will culminate on August 14th, 2003. Bids will be accepted by phone or online through the company's real-time Internet auction program. Call (800) 350-2273 for more information on how to participate in this extraordinary auction event.