Honus Wagner Baseball Card Sells For $2.1 Million

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1909 card of Pittsburgh Pirate shortstop Honus Wagner

NEW YORK (CNN) — The final bid for a trading card that the National Baseball Hall of Fame calls “the Holy Grail” topped $2.1 million — the highest price ever paid for a baseball card in a public auction.

The 1909 card of Pittsburgh Pirate shortstop Honus Wagner — one of only about 50 in existence — was auctioned off by Goldin Auctions in West Berlin, New Jersey. Bidding started at $500,000 on Feb. 25.

The card is in such short supply because Wagner made the American Tobacco Company recall it when he discovered it had made the card without his permission. He didn’t want kids to buy cigarettes, the auction house said.

The card was released as Wagner was on his way to winning his seventh batting title and about to lead the Pirates to their first World Series win. It’s garnered such a place in baseball history that it has its own plaque at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

The winning bid came in at $2,105,770.50, including the buyer’s premium, according to a statement from Goldin Auctions on Saturday.

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta