Ten Cheap Honus Wagner Cards For Collectors On A Budget

wagner-fan-crazeThe T206 Honus Wagner card is one of the most valuable cards in the hobby.

Most collectors equate Honus Wagner with his T206 card and aren’t aware of his playing day and later year cards that can fit into some collector budgets.

We highlighted two Wagner cards in our ‘All Vintage Value Portfolio’, however recent momentum in the market has carried those cards to the line of un-budget-friendly territory.  A few of his cards were also featured in a Caramel Cards investment piece.

So, let’s take a look at a few Wagner cards that budget-oriented collectors might be interested in.  I loosely used the word ‘Cheap’ in the title of this post, and my definition of ‘budget’ here’ is $1500 or less. 

Most people wouldn’t call $1500 cheap and neither would I, but it’s mostly relative to where Wagner’s other cards are valued.

In addition, in order to fit under that price range, in most instances, you need to consider a card in poorer condition.   Also, opt for a graded copy from SGC or BVG or even raw if you have the chops to identify a counterfeit and you should be able to save some money. 

1906 Fan Craze N.L. Honus Wagner

Estimated Value in Poor Condition $1500+ 

wagner-fan-craze

Many vintage collectors aren't familiar with the Fan Craze cards, but I think they are probably one of the more underrated vintage pre-war issues.  

The cards were issued by the Cincinnati Fan Craze Co in 1906 and actually pre-date the ever popular T206 white border set by three years.  The cards were issued as a table game with a game board and are designated as WG-3 in Jefferson Burdick's American Card Catalog.   

PSA has graded only 36 copies, so the possibility of finding one under the $1500 mark may be somewhat of a stretch, and if you were to do so, it would probably have to be in pretty bad condition.  

1908 E102 Anonymous Set Of 25 - Honus Wagner 'Batting'

Estimated Value in Poor Condition $1500

e102-wagner

So, the E102 issue was issued by an unknown candy and gum company in 1908 and there are notably several others that were issued which are identical to this card, including the E90-1 American Caramel, E92 Croft's Candy, E105 Mello Mint, E106 American Caramel  and E101 Anonymous Set of 25 Issues.  

The E102 and E101 issues tend to sell at a slight discount, but ultimately, if you can find any of these cards at $1500 or under, you are doing just fine.  

Again, this is a case where you'll have to have some patience and some flexibility in regards to condition.  

1913 National Game HONUS WAGNER PSA 8

$1,299.00  
End Date: Thursday Dec-16-2021 22:10:15 EST
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1911 BASEBALL 1ed Spalding Americas National Game Sports Cy Young Honus Wagner

$750.00  
End Date: Friday Dec-31-2021 16:38:37 EST
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1914 Polo Grounds Game Honus Wagner PSA 8 Nr Mt Mint HOF

$1,875.00  
End Date: Friday Dec-17-2021 19:47:13 EST
Buy It Now for only: $1,875.00
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2004 UPPER DECK SP LEGENDARY CUTS #US-HW HONUS WAGNER GAME USED RELIC /10

$600.00  
End Date: Thursday Dec-23-2021 10:52:42 EST
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Honus Wagner And Wife & Children Signed Game Used 1952 NL Baseball JSA COA

$1,995.00  
End Date: Monday Dec-13-2021 12:55:21 EST
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1909-13 M101-2 Sporting News Supplements

Honus Wagner

Estimated Value In Poor Condition $1200

sporting-news-wagner

These 8x10 paper images were inserted in issues of The Sporting News and are tough to find in good condition.  They also aren't all that easy to find, as PSA has only graded three copies.  In fact the latest comp is the same card in Poor condition version that has changed hands twice at around that $1200 range.  I think it might be a challenge to find one for under $1500, but if you look long enough you might get lucky.

1909 Colgan's Chips (E254) Honus Wagner

Estimated Value In Poor Condition $1500

Estimated Value in Poor Condition $1500+ 

The 1909 Colgan's Chips discs are not technically cards, but definitely a more affordable way to get access to a playing day Wagner collectible.  These mini discs were sold for five cents in a package with a round piece of gum (either Violet or Mint) --wonder what the Violet tasted like?

PSA has only graded 57 of these, so I'd say if you can find one in decent shape near that $1500 mark, it's probably a very good investment for the long term.

1909 W555 Strip Card Honus Wagner

Estimated Value In Poor Condition $1200

w555-wagner

Now most people don't really like strip cards, and so the W555 Strip card issue would definitely be much more of an acquired taste.  The cards are small squares, measuring 1-1/4 x 1-5/16.  

There's demand, but not a ton of demand for these cards, although they aren't plentiful as PSA has graded just 11 copies, thus if you want something on the rarer side, this would be a good choice.

To note there are some other big guns in the W555 set that can also be purchased at a budget price (relative to their other more popular cards).  This includes Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Christy Mathewson and Nap Lajoie. 

1913 T200 Fatima Team Photo Pittsburgh Nationals w Honus Wagner

Estimated Value In Poor/Fair Condition $1500

t200fatimawagner

These team cards were issued by Fatima, included in cigarette tins. The cards in my opinion are awesome and a more affordable way to get a card of some of the era's top players.  Many cards in the set are highly collectible including the team cards of the Chicago White Sox (Joe Jackson) and the Detroit Tigers (Ty Cobb).  This Pittsburgh Nationals card features Wagner and can be found in tougher condition for between $1000 to $1500. 

1913 WG5 National Game Honus Wagner #40

Estimated Value In Mint Condition $1000

national-game-wagner

It's another game card in an attempt to find more affordable Wagner cards and while these aren't super popular, the card is a playing day card of Wagner, and can often be found for under $1000 in even higher grade condition.  

Shh don't tell anyone, but PSA has graded only 71 copies of this card.  So, if you can buy a PSA 9 for around $1000, I'd say it's a relative bargain. 

Note there is also an identical set issued by Tom Barker (identifier WG6) and the cards are roughly the same value.

1914 WG4 Polo Grounds Game Honus Wagner #40

Estimated Value In Mint Condition $1000

polo-hit-wagner

There are two variations of the Honus Wagner from the 1914 Polo Ground Game set --both have the same photo, but one says 'Hit' and the other says 'Strike' in accordance with the game.  Like the 1913 Game Cards of Wagner, these are also relatively affordable, with higher grade copies available for around $1000. 

1909 E95 Philadelphia Caramel Honus Wagner ~ PSA Authentic ~ SHARP nice

$3,499.99  
End Date: Saturday Dec-25-2021 21:44:36 EST
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1909 E95 HONUS WAGNER * PHILADELPHIA CARAMEL* PSA 1 * HOF * PITTSBURGH PIRATES

$1,899.00  
End Date: Thursday Dec-02-2021 19:14:24 EST
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1910 E93 Standard Caramel Honus Wagner | Authentic | ARN482532BUBX

$4,500.00  
End Date: Tuesday Dec-14-2021 17:52:50 EST
Buy It Now for only: $4,500.00
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1936 National Chicle R313 Honus Wagner

Estimated Value In VG-EX Condition $500

wagner-chicle

Now, this isn't a playing day card of Wagner, however this card was issued during Wagner's coaching years as the hitting instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which lasted until 1951. 

Notably, PSA has graded only 39 copies of the National Chicle Wagner card, and even still, it's fairly affordable, with mid grade copies typically available for around $500 or less.

1940 R335 Play Ball "Honus" Wagner #168

Estimated Value In VG-EX Condition $400

playballwagner

While the 1940 Play Ball set is popular for the Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams cards, the set also includes cards for legends, including Shoeless Joe Jackson and this card of Wagner which caught him still in his years as a coach for the Pirates. 

PSA has graded less than 300 copies of Wagner's Play Ball card, making it a tougher find than his 1949 Leaf coaching card, and ultimately the Play Ball card can be found for less than $500 in low to mid grade.

1949 Leaf Honus Wagner #70

Estimated Value In VG-EX Condition $200

48leaf-wagner

This 1949 Leaf card of Wagner features him during the tail end of his coaching career with the Pirates.  The card captures Wagner with a package of tobacco in his hands which kind of goes against the theory of Wagner not wanting his T206 card circulating due to the associations with a cigarette company.  

I really like the Leaf cards and view the Wagner card as a mere bargain.  You can pick up a copy in mid grade for around $250.  Note that PSA has graded over 650 copies, so it's not rare, but probably the best way for a collector to own ANY card of Wagner for less than $500.  

1948 LEAF HONUS WAGNER PSA 3 Centered it’s Graded PSA 24986910

$847.00  
End Date: Tuesday Dec-07-2021 13:42:10 EST
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1948 Leaf Set Break # 70 Honus Wagner SGC 1.5 FR

$107.00  (21 bids)
End Date: Sunday Dec-05-2021 20:40:51 EST

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1948 Leaf #70 Honus Wagner Pirates PSA 6 - EX/MT

$1,540.00  
End Date: Friday Dec-24-2021 13:16:52 EST
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1948 Leaf #70 Honus Wagner Pirates PSA 6 - EX/MT

$1,540.00  
End Date: Friday Dec-24-2021 13:16:52 EST
Buy It Now for only: $1,540.00
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1948-49 Leaf #70 Honus Wagner SGC 4 VG-EX Pittsburgh Pirates HOF

$790.00  
End Date: Monday Dec-20-2021 22:02:54 EST
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