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View Full Version : Discussion: Good thing or bad thing for the hobby if a hoard of T206 Wagners is found


npa589
05-18-2018, 09:56 AM
I was just thinking about this when scouring eBay.

What if the improbable happened, and there was a discovery similar to the T206 Ty Cobb/Ty Cobb back find recently. For the sake of the discussion, let's say hypothetically that 45 T206 Wagners were found in PR to EX condition by some former employee at the American Lithographic Company. Let's also assume that like most T206s, the vast majority of those 45 were on the lower end of the spectrum (Poor to Good). The reason for that is because the employee used some of them as playing cards and as bookmarks.

I think we could agree that it would be good for the hobby in the short term (1 year), but, aside from financially devaluing the T206 Wagner, would it be good or bad for the hobby in the long run?

I enjoyed running with that thought on a boring Friday where I am literally working for the weekend -and yes, I sang that out loud as I typed it. Curious to see what you all think...

barrysloate
05-18-2018, 10:01 AM
It would be good for people who always wanted to own one, bad for people who already bought one and spent a lot of money to get it.

As far as its long term effect on the hobby, it would be minimal. All the examples would be absorbed, and the overall price of a Wagner would still be high, but lower than before the find.

45 are a lot but there are more than 45 collectors who would like to own one.

KMayUSA6060
05-18-2018, 10:02 AM
Technically, the T206 Honus Wagner value isn't truly based on scarcity, but more publicity. It's 2nd or 3rd in scarcity for T206s, if I'm not mistaken, but is so valuable due to the Gretzky card. More than likely, if a hoard of them was to be discovered, it would give a boost to the hobby as it might invite more collectors in, while most definitely putting the hobby in the spotlight. I wouldn't think the price would drop very much (if at all) due to, again, the publicity value of the card and its demand.

egbeachley
05-18-2018, 10:35 AM
Technically, the T206 Honus Wagner value isn't truly based on scarcity, but more publicity. It's 2nd or 3rd in scarcity for T206s, if I'm not mistaken, but is so valuable due to the Gretzky card. More than likely, if a hoard of them was to be discovered, it would give a boost to the hobby as it might invite more collectors in, while most definitely putting the hobby in the spotlight. I wouldn't think the price would drop very much (if at all) due to, again, the publicity value of the card and its demand.

Itís value comes from being the clear #1 in terms of scarcity as its value is multiples of what would be expected due to its rarity. Itís the publicity that makes it #1 in scarcity, that is the key.

As to the original question, I think it would be good and may not reduce the value by much at all. Some people wonít collect T206 because they canít complete it. This will bring in more collectors.

CitizunKane
05-18-2018, 10:39 AM
I completely agree with Kyle. I think it would draw a big spotlight to the hobby, in a positive way. The auction house or houses selected for the sale would be wise to publicize the sale in new and unique ways - I'm thinking a documentary on ESPN, and perhaps some sort of live event.

I also think it would lead to another "gold rush" of people searching through attics, scouring the insides of old buildings, etc., in search of cardboard gold.

It's a fun thought exercise. Unfortunately, I'm positive that Panini would buy a copy and put microscopic flecks of it in various products - "Own a piece of the T206 Wagner!"

joshuanip
05-18-2018, 10:39 AM
Bad, hobby lose the lore of its forefront card.

T206Collector
05-18-2018, 10:56 AM
This will bring in more collectors.

+1 It will generate, not discourage, interest.

Rookiemonster
05-18-2018, 10:57 AM
If the cards that were meant to be destroyed were taken home by a employee or employees then the cards might really be out there. Idk if all the card would have been thrown out with anyone takening them.If enough were found and the Wagner becomes the second most rare card then I wouldnít understand the price of the card.

howard38
05-18-2018, 11:33 AM
If such a hoard was found would it be unethical for the owner to auction them off one by one without disclosing that there were many more soon to be available?

Throttlesteer
05-18-2018, 11:46 AM
If such a hoard was found would it be unethical for the owner to auction them off one by one without disclosing that there were many more soon to be available?

Maybe, but there's nothing preventing it. The BSF used a few different tactics to try and reduce the sheer volume of E98s flooding the market...different auctions, graders, and even some intentional ambiguity around the total count of each player recovered. The population skyrocketed and, some will end up forgetting, the family still have some sets tucked away.

Gobucsmagic74
05-18-2018, 12:28 PM
Yes I believe it would cast a positive spotlight on the hobby, but I'm not sure how a hoard of a 45 count of T206 Wagners, in lets say GD to VG/EX condition, wouldn't have a negative impact on the value of already existing Wagners? The impact would certainly be relative to the condition of these newly found cards in some way

AGuinness
05-18-2018, 01:32 PM
This has been mentioned elsewhere, but despite a strong supply of 1952 Topps Mantles out there, the demand is so strong that the going rate for them remains high. I'd think that would be the same case for the Wagner if another 45 were found. It would only be good for the hobby, as I don't even think the current ones in circulation would be devalued (particularly those with an interesting backstory).

Bored5000
05-18-2018, 01:49 PM
This has been mentioned elsewhere, but despite a strong supply of 1952 Topps Mantles out there, the demand is so strong that the going rate for them remains high. I'd think that would be the same case for the Wagner if another 45 were found. It would only be good for the hobby, as I don't even think the current ones in circulation would be devalued (particularly those with an interesting backstory).

The demand may be high for 52T Mantle cards, but the price to own a copy is nowhere close. A beater Honus is a $400,000 card, while a beater Mantle is an $8,000 card.

I would hope a stash of Wagner's is never found; it would take away some of the mystique of the card. Sure, the initial news story would create a buzz. But now, there is mainstream news coverage every time a Wagner goes to auction. That would not happen if T206 Wagner auctions suddenly became commonplace.

ALR-bishop
05-18-2018, 01:50 PM
I guess I need to add this to my what me worry list

AGuinness
05-18-2018, 02:00 PM
The demand may be high for 52T Mantle cards, but the price to own a copy is nowhere close. A beater Honus is a $400,000 card, while a beater Mantle is an $8,000 card.

I would hope a stash of Wagner's is never found; it would take away some of the mystique of the card. Sure, the initial news story would create a buzz. But now, there is mainstream news coverage every time a Wagner goes to auction. That would not happen if T206 Wagner auctions suddenly became commonplace.

Not saying the price is anywhere close between those two cards, just that the situation would be the same in that the demand would still be so high that the price would remain high. PSA has slabbed 32 Wagners, I believe, so the supply would double, but that would hardly take the edge of the demand for the card, so I don't think there would be an impact on the current price.

npa589
05-18-2018, 02:13 PM
Not saying the price is anywhere close between those two cards, just that the situation would be the same in that the demand would still be so high that the price would remain high. PSA has slabbed 32 Wagners, I believe, so the supply would double, but that would hardly take the edge of the demand for the card, so I don't think there would be an impact on the current price.


With regard to price, I think it is actually a little bit of both of what you all are discussing.

I think the overall value of the Wagners would remain the same, but there would be a much greater disparity between a PSA/SGC 1 Wagner and a PSA/SGC 5 Wagner. The top price would probably skyrocket for whatever the highest grade was for this hypothetically discovered hoard of Wagners (Let's say EX to EX-MT range), higher than any price for any card in history - but that would most likely drive the price down for a PSA 1 Wagner.

Basically - I could have summed it all up by saying this.

I think it would become much less expensive to own A Wagner, but I also think it would become much more expensive to own the best Wagners. The current Wagner hunters would move toward the upper tier of Wagners, while new collectors would now be in the game for a lesser Wagner.

I believe the current estimated count of Wagners is 57. In this hypothetical situation, that obviously puts the new number at 102.

Aquarian Sports Cards
05-18-2018, 02:45 PM
I guess I need to add this to my what me worry list

Definitely a case of first world problems

profholt82
05-18-2018, 03:45 PM
I wonder if this is this truly "hypothetical" or if the OP has some inside dope. ;)

Sean
05-18-2018, 03:52 PM
Would all these new Wagners have the same Sweet Caporal Back? If they had a variety, say Piedmont 150 and Sovereign 150, and Sweet Cap factory 25 and 30, we would have people doing Wagner back runs. :eek:

My money would be on Jaime B completing the first Wagner back run. :D

ullmandds
05-18-2018, 04:19 PM
i was thinking about a similar idea a week or two ago...while contemplating the black swamp find of e98. Initially I thought the e98 market would be changed forever...and I still believe that to be true. I find myself kinda wanting a card from the bsf just to see how pristine a caramel card was the day it left the factory.

As many have said...the Wagner is the face of the hobby...not because it's the rarest...but it transcends the hobby. So if 50 more wagners were found...I agree they'd be absorbed...and values overall for wagners should come down a bit. But there will always be a big demand for that card.

MVSNYC
05-18-2018, 05:01 PM
Prices might dip a bit, but it wouldn't affect the overall value and place that it resides within he hobby. Supply & Demand...there's (way) more than 45 collectors who want a Wagner, hence the demand (still) would outweigh the supply.

So, not saying it would be good for the hobby, but not seeing how it would be bad.

barrysloate
05-18-2018, 07:45 PM
There hasn't been a Wagner auctioned in awhile, and if one went on the block today I think it not only would get spirited bidding, a couple of hopeful collectors would be willing to place an extra bid or two to finally nab one.

But with 45 on the block, no need to overpay. Just stay in the game until you eventually get one for a fair price. So short term I think the card would take maybe a 20% hit. But ultimately they would all be purchased for strong prices.

No bargains, but patience would prove an asset.

npa589
05-18-2018, 08:15 PM
I wonder if this is this truly "hypothetical" or if the OP has some inside dope. ;)

Haha, that absolutely crossed my mind when I was discerning the perception people would have about this thread.


I truly do wish that I was able to break some news to you right now and post a scan of authentic Wagners strewn across my bed.


OK, FINE: BREAKING NEWS!

steve B
05-18-2018, 10:50 PM
There hasn't been a Wagner auctioned in awhile, and if one went on the block today I think it not only would get spirited bidding, a couple of hopeful collectors would be willing to place an extra bid or two to finally nab one.

But with 45 on the block, no need to overpay. Just stay in the game until you eventually get one for a fair price. So short term I think the card would take maybe a 20% hit. But ultimately they would all be purchased for strong prices.

No bargains, but patience would prove an asset.

To me this seems like what would happen. The number of people who want and can afford a Wagner would still be more than the number of copies. So sure, a temporary hit, with things eventually settling back to right about where they are now.

A while ago, I started thinking about what makes the "special" items in any hobby special. And what I realized is that it's not just rarity. For a brief time I actually knew how many cards I had that were probably less available than a Wagner. I don't even try anymore. I'd guess 40 or more, not counting modern serial numbered stuff or stuff from one particular hobby where nearly every item is less available or roughly the same. The whole pile wouldn't even make for a downpayment on a Wagner.

The four things that I believe are most critical for something to get into the really high prices?

the subject has to be both extremely popular AND something that represents the era to someone who isn't a collector. (Wagner, Mantle, the early airmail plane.. )

The item has to be uncommon, but not so uncommon that people can't even fantasize about finding one somewhere. Or about buying one if they have enough. I believe the real sweet spot is around 50-150 known. The Mantle breaks the pattern there as it's a fairly common card.

The item has to fit a popular collecting area, or better still several at once.
HOF, popular set, something like that.

And the most important, there's got to be a great story to it, true or not.
Wagner got the card pulled because of tobacco
Mantle is rare because a bunch of high numbers got dumped in the ocean
The upside down airplane was discovered on the first day of sale and the buyer refused when the PO clerk wanted the sheet back

Without all of those things, stuff can get expensive, but won't usually be the top item in a hobby expensive. Or for hobbies with a lot of very valuable stuff say top 25 or 50.

Even a large find won't usually put any sort of permanent dent in the price of those items.

dabigyankeeman
05-20-2018, 09:46 AM
If such a hoard was found would it be unethical for the owner to auction them off one by one without disclosing that there were many more soon to be available?

I was going to post that I would do exactly that, or at least sell half of them one by one slowly, then disclose the rest of them as a "find", so no, I dont think it would be unethical since I would do it myself. :D

Huysmans
05-20-2018, 12:40 PM
Definitely a case of first world problems

Too many Wagners? That's never a problem, no matter what world you live in. lol

orly57
05-20-2018, 12:55 PM
To me this seems like what would happen. The number of people who want and can afford a Wagner would still be more than the number of copies. So sure, a temporary hit, with things eventually settling back to right about where they are now.

A while ago, I started thinking about what makes the "special" items in any hobby special. And what I realized is that it's not just rarity. For a brief time I actually knew how many cards I had that were probably less available than a Wagner. I don't even try anymore. I'd guess 40 or more, not counting modern serial numbered stuff or stuff from one particular hobby where nearly every item is less available or roughly the same. The whole pile wouldn't even make for a downpayment on a Wagner.

The four things that I believe are most critical for something to get into the really high prices?

the subject has to be both extremely popular AND something that represents the era to someone who isn't a collector. (Wagner, Mantle, the early airmail plane.. )

The item has to be uncommon, but not so uncommon that people can't even fantasize about finding one somewhere. Or about buying one if they have enough. I believe the real sweet spot is around 50-150 known. The Mantle breaks the pattern there as it's a fairly common card.

The item has to fit a popular collecting area, or better still several at once.
HOF, popular set, something like that.

And the most important, there's got to be a great story to it, true or not.
Wagner got the card pulled because of tobacco
Mantle is rare because a bunch of high numbers got dumped in the ocean
The upside down airplane was discovered on the first day of sale and the buyer refused when the PO clerk wanted the sheet back

Without all of those things, stuff can get expensive, but won't usually be the top item in a hobby expensive. Or for hobbies with a lot of very valuable stuff say top 25 or 50.

Even a large find won't usually put any sort of permanent dent in the price of those items.

Great post, but I would add that it needs to come from a popular set. T206 is the king of the hill. Were the Wagner from any other set, it wouldn't be nearly as valuable. Same with the Cobb-back (though some debate whether or not it's a t206).
I would also add that mantle is far from rare even if the ocean dumping story is true. There are easily 100 times more mantles than t206 Wagners. Even if the Wagner pop doubles there would be under 100 compared to thousands of Mantles. A find of this magnitude would just give more wealthy guys a chance to own one. They will still have to pay strong.

steve B
05-21-2018, 12:13 PM
I down played the popular set thing, mostly because it can become a chicken /egg discussion. Would T206 be popular without the Wagner? 52 Topps without the Mantle? That's a much tougher question.
One thing that's interesting, is that the entire hobby would be different without the Wagner, but I believe it wouldn't be much different without the Mantle.

The Mantle is an outlier, I have a hard time coming up with any other collectible that sells in that sort of price range that's as readily available.