Skip to content

Are Fresno Grizzlies really raffling off a million-dollar Honus Wagner card? Possibly, yes

Jun 7, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT

honuswagnercard2 Getty Images

So wait, a Minor League Baseball team is raffling off a mint condition T206 Honus Wagner baseball card? Can’t be true. But technically, it could be. The Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) are indeed raffling chances, at $5 a pop, at an unopened pack of 1909-era Piedmont Cigarettes — which was the pack which contained some of the rare T206 Wagners. There’s no guarantee of course that a Wagner will be in this pack, but it could be.

To be sure, I asked the most knowledgeable baseball card expert I know: Keith Olbermann. Could a T206 Wagner be in this unopened pack?

” ‘Could’? Yes,” Olbermann said. “But nearly all of them were sold in packs of Sweet Caporals.”

There you have it. But for $5, chances are what you will find in there are worth the investment. There could be other valuable cards.

You are no doubt familiar with the Wagner T206 card — produced between 1909 and 1911by the American Tobacco Company and sold in packs of cigarettes, it has become one of the most sought-after baseball collectibles of all time. Less than 200 are known to exist, and one sold for $2.8 million in 2007. Fresno Grizzlies’ press release:

We are raising money for our Grizzlies Community Fund through a raffle for an unopened, professionally-graded pack of 1909-11 Piedmont cigarettes. This unopened pack of cigarettes could contain the “Holy Grail” of baseball cards depicting Honus Wagner, as a limited number of these cards are still potentially out in the public, somewhere to be found. While there is not a guarantee the Honus Wagner card is in the unopened pack, there very well may be other collectible cards from the T206 set inside the pack that are worth thousands of dollars as well.

Our raffle will run from now until September 3rd (Labor Day). We have our last regular season game on 9/3, and we will reveal the winner at the game, giving them the choice to open it there or hold off.

H/T Ben’s Biz Blog.

  1. rooney24 - Jun 8, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    Still a better investment that Packers “stock”.