I always link to stories about Honus Wagner T-206 cards going up for auction because when I was a kid I was convinced I was going to find one if I looked around in junkyards, garage sales and flea markets long enough. I would have settled for a ’52 Mantle, but the Wagner was really what I was looking for.
That said, even if I had the means, I don’t think I’d get in on the action now. It’s just … too much:
The card being auctioned at Goldin’s is one of the three highest quality cards in existence. On a scale of 1 to 10, a card graded 8 was bought by Wayne Gretzky in 1991 for $451,000. After a handful of other collectors, it rests now with Ken Kendrick, owner of the the Arizona Diamondbacks, who paid $2.8 million for it in 2007.
Another card, with a 5 grade, was sold to an anonymous buyer in 2008 for $1.62 million.
The card at Goldin’s is also graded 5. It’s been in the hands of a private collector and locked in a bank vault for the past five years.
What a waste. Like this guy doesn’t have a bike with spokes?
I’m more surprised that Kendrick’s is the best quality one out there. While near-mint condition cards are great, you’d think he’d want something more gritty.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.