Honus Wagner and the Rarest and Most Valuable Baseball Cards

Elliott Pohnl@@ElliottPohnl_BRFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2010

Honus Wagner and the Rarest and Most Valuable Baseball Cards

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    Honus Wagner's baseball card in the T206 series is one of the most coveted of its kind.

    A slightly-damaged T206 Wagner card surfaced earlier this year when a man left it to the Baltimore's Sisters of Notre Dame as part of his will.

    The card is being auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Roman Catholic nuns and is expected to sell for between $175,000 and $200,000.

    That's chump change compared to another card from the collection that was sold for a startling $2.8 million two years ago.

    Here's a look at some of the rarest baseball cards worth big bucks.

Honorable Mention: The Sporting News' Babe Ruth

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    There are plenty of cards with more valuable than the Sporting News' Babe Ruth from the 1916 collection.

    The card, valued at $140,666, was printed with a blank back.

    It's difficult to imagine a baseball card with no stats, nicknames or biographical information printed on it.

    In the early days of trading cards, a blank back was fairly commonplace.

No. 10: Goudey's

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    There's a story behind this one.

    When Goudey's initially released the set of trading cards in 1933, No. 106 was missing.

    Nap Lajoie was later added to fill the void, making his card one of the most unique and valuable in the entire collection at $144,000.

No. 9 Goudey's Joe DiMaggio

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    Goudey's released this amusing set in 1938, featuring players with giant inflatable heads.

    Of the 48 cards in the set, the Yankee Clipper's is the most valuable at $150,806.

No. 8: Bowman's Mickey Mantle

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    Bowman's 1951 classic collection features Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Johnny Pesky and Bob Feller, just to name a few.

    The most valuable card from the collection belongs to Mickey Mantle and is valued at $162,412.

No. 7: Boston Garter's Joe Jackson

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    Shoeless Joe Jackson remains one of the most iconic figures in baseball history.

    It's no surprise that his card from the 1914 Boston Garter collection is valued at $204,000.

    Incredibly, Jackson's was one of only 12 cards in the entire set.

No. 6: Standard Caramel's Honus Wagner

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    The Standard Caramel released a tiny set in 1910 featuring the likes of Ty Cobb and Cristy Mathewson.

    The most valuable piece in the collection is a Honus Wagner card worth $218,550.

No. 5: General Baking's Ty Cobb

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    Way back in 1911, General Baking released a small set of just 30 cards featuring Christy Mathewson and Buck Herzog.

    The biggest name in the set was Ty Cobb, whose card is valued at $272,980.

No. 4: Goudey's Lou Gehrig

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    Goudey Gum company released a set featuring Babe Ruth among others, in 1933.

    The most expensive card of the set is a Lou Gehrig card valued at $274,950.

No. 3: Topps' Mickey Mantle

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    Few players have benefited more from sports memorabilia than Mickey Mantle, who began touring America after his retirement in an effort to stave off bankruptcy.

    A Mantle 1952 Topps rookie card in mint condition was sold for $282,000.

No. 2: Baltimore News' Babe Ruth

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    Babe Ruth started his career as a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles before moving onto the Red Sox.

    His rookie card with the O's is one of just 24 that was released.

    Not surprisingly, it was auctioned off for an astounding $517,000 in 2008.

No. 1: Piedmont & Sweet Caporal's Honus Wagner

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    The famous Wagner cards produced by Piedmont & Sweet Caporal have represented the most valuable card sales in recent memory.

    The most valuable card in mint condition was sold for a whopping $2.8 million to Ken Kendrick, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    All told, the T206 series Wagner cards account for seven out of the ten most valuable cards ever sold.

    Maybe Wagner should have spent more of his money on baseball players who are still actually alive.