1921 Honus Wagner Signed Check

Sold For: $948

Auction Year: 2012 spring

Lot: 783

Item Year: 1921

Category: Autographed Baseballs/Flats/Photos

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Personal check, dated March 7, 1921, signed by Hall of Fame shortstop Honus Wagner. The check, drawn on the First National Bank of Carnegie, Pennsylvania, is made out to "West End Tire Service" in the amount of $20.59 and is signed in blue fountain pen by "John H. Wagner" (grading "8" due to light brushing). The name "John H. Wagner" is printed along the left border. The tire company's stamped endorsement appears on the reverse. Autograph collectors have always placed a special premium on checks due to their inherent authenticity. The offered Wagner check (one of a modest "hoard" of five purchased a decade ago by our consignor, all of which are presented in this auction) is an extremely early example and dates just four years after his retirement from baseball. Wagner checks are far rarer than Cobb or even Ruth checks, with just a small number discovered and released by the family in relatively recent years. Decades ago, Cobb and Ruth checks were available in far greater quantities, literally by the hundreds, and they have been easily absorbed by the marketplace, suggesting a very bright future in the years to come for the few Wagner checks circulating. The check (8.25 x 3 inches) displays a vertical fold, normal bank cancellation stamps and perforations (which touch upon Wagner's signature), light staining along the right border, and a small crease in the upper left corner. In Very Good condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $300. Estimate $500/$1,000.

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