1911 M116 Sporting Life Hans Wagner Blue Background PSA 3 VG
SCARCE WAGNER PORTRAIT!!! The unconscionable rise of the pricing points for the Holy Grail T206 Wagner has achieved a plateau far outdistancing most collectors' budgets. Simply stated, the current $2 million+ market value for even low-grade examples is not a conceivable and/or affordable cost for virtually all enthusiasts. The myriad of collectors that cannot afford our hobby's ultimate hallowed relic seek to obtain the next best thing: a card reflecting a likeness of Carl Horner's classic T206 depiction of the revered Hall of Fame shortstop. Fortunately, there are a few somewhat affordable pre-WWI issues that emulate the T206 Hans Wagner in appearance, including this splendid PSA 3 VG 1911 M116 Sporting Life Blue Background variation that joins a paltry four other examples at this highly collectible plateau. At the time this was written, PSA had only encapsulated 41 total M116 Blue Wagners, and as most vintage enthusiasts are aware of, any pre-WWI Honus Wagner issue portraying his iconic T206 portrait image is currently realizing stratospheric figures.
Our Spring 2023 auction is a perfect example of this insatiable pricing surge, with a PSA 5 E90-2 and a PSA 8 M116 Pastel Wagners fetching staggering pricing points of $117K and $91K, respectively. Indeed, the floodgates have officially opened regarding the unlimited values of any portrait Wagner issue, and this super-eye-pleasing PSA 3 M116 Blue Background offering certainly falls right into this distinguished category. Considering that the classic Hans Wagner pose initially struck by Carl Horner irrefutably resides as the cornerstone image of our illustrious hobby, collectors are catching on and placing their hard-earned dollars into any issue portraying this timeless pose. The M116 Sporting Life cards are among the most brilliant eye-appeal cards ever manufactured, enhanced by their stunning palette of pastel colors. These cards were offered to subscribers of the Sporting Life periodical in 24 separate series of 12 cards each. Most of the portrait images are replicas of the classic Carl Horner photographs, including the offered specimen of the immortal Hans Wagner. Unquestionably, the unparalleled aura of the T206 Wagner, coupled with his title as baseball's greatest all-time shortstop, has ignited the hype of capturing as many Wagner-related keepsakes as possible, from both a collecting and investment perspective.
With that in mind, what better card could one hope to obtain than one exhibiting an image synonymous with the immortal T206 Wagner. Regarding this PSA 3 heirloom, Wagner's imposing portrait pose reflects vibrant pink facial hues, with his haircut and stoic expression retaining a majority of their original factory-issued attributes. A brilliant blue and green background effectively projects the iconic pose to the finest level, with the illustration only slightly favoring the left edge between four bright white borders. No obtrusive surface flaws are evident on either side, with typical corner wear consistent with the grade, especially apparent along the lower right corner that depicts some modest layering. The final thumbs up is a bold midnight blue "SPORTING LIFE" advertisement that has effectively defied 112 years of potential wear. There are only a handful of Hans Wagner issues boasting his sanctified Carl Horner portrait image, and synonymous with the Flying Dutchman's pinnacle stature in the hobby, this highly coveted M116 Blue Background Wagner keepsake truly stands as one of the most significant investment cards in the hobby!
MIN BID $4,000