NEWPORT BEACH, CA -- Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) announced today that it has graded a 1909-1911 T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card, VG-EX 4 on the 10 point scale. Due to its quality, this card is being placed by PSA graders in the top ten of what is believed to be less than fifty cards in existence.

Mike Baker, the Director of Grading at PSA, had this to say about the card, which is known to collectors as simply the T-206 Honus Wagner: "This card symbolizes the 'Holy Grail' of the sportscard industry. The limited circulation of this card has made the T-206 Honus Wagner one of the top cards on every collector's want list. For a card from this era to exist in such excellent condition gives it tremendous value."

The 1909-1911 T-206 Honus Wagner is just one in an early series of baseball cards that advertised different tobacco companies on the back of the cards. These cards were originally designated as "the tobacco series" because they were distributed in packs of cigarettes, one card to a pack. Measuring 1 7/8y by 2 5/8y, the T-206 cards feature white borders and color lithographs of various athletes. The name of the player and the city they played for are printed at the bottom of the card.

Although there are cards that are more rare, the controversy and mystery surrounding the T-206 series makes this set extremely desirable to collectors. The legend of the T-206 Honus Wagner was that the card was withdrawn from production because Wagner opposed the use of his likeness in the promotion of tobacco products. Apparently, a small number of the cards that were printed did find their way into the hands of the public, thus creating the limited availability.

This particular T-206 Honus Wagner is valued at $325,000. The card's owners are Kevin Struss and David Kohler of Sportscards Plus, located in Laguna Niguel, California. They are very excited about this acquisition and plan to sell the card. "This card is considered to be one of the nicest quality T-206 Honus Wagner cards ever offered for public sale, second only to the card that was sold by Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall," said Struss. The Gretzky/McNall card was also graded by PSA; it was sold in 1996 for $640,500.

Established in 1991, PSA is the world's largest third-party grading and authentication service of sports and non-sports trading cards. Cards submitted to PSA are examined by a minimum of three independent experts for authenticity and grade. PSA uses a 10-point grading scale ranging from Gem-Mint 10 to Poor to Fair 1. Cards which meet PSA grading standards are encapsulated in a sonically sealed, tamper-evident holder with a certification insert listing the grade. PSA will not encapsulate cards that are altered or counterfeit.

To date, PSA has graded 761,349 cards with a cumulative value of $142,403,666. PSA has been designated the Official Grading Service of the 20th National Sports Collectors Convention, which will be held in Atlanta, Georgia on July 18-25, 1999.

For more information on PSA services and products, contact PSA directly at: P.O. Box 6180, Newport Beach, California 92658. Phone: 1-800-325-1211. Readers may visit the PSA website at www.PSAcard.com. E-mail PSA at [email protected]. PSA is a member of Collectors Universe, located on the Internet at www.CollectorsUniverse.com.