Honus Wagner baseball card sold for $1.62 million by Mastro Auctions

Big milestone…nice coverage below…Best, Matthew Roszak

A League Of His Own
Nina P. West, Artfact.com 08.25.08, 7:20 PM ET
Honus Wagner. Not exactly a household name, but among serious collectors of baseball memorabilia, his image is the hottest thing going.
This month a Wagner card sold for $1.62 million in Chicago, a record price for any baseball card at a public sale. No one was surprised. The Honus Wagner card is one of the most coveted pieces of baseball paraphernalia available and often referred to as the “Holy Grail.”

The buyer, John Rogers, calls his purchase the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. A baseball card collector since childhood, the Arkansas businessman remembers cutting out a copy of the Honus Wagner card from a magazine and carrying it around in his pocket for years. Decades later, on the prowl for an original, he was ecstatic when he found one this month at Mastro Auctions, a leader in sports memorabilia sales.

With the encouragement of his wife, he fought a four-minute bidding war against another buyer and ultimately came out on top. His purchase was made sweeter by the offer he received after the auction for $100,000 more than his $1.62 million purchase price. He turned the offer down but felt validation, saying that it made him realize, ”I’m not a nut.”

Rogers need not fear that he made a mistake. Other examples of the Wagner card have sold for as much as $2.8 million, a price brokered in 2007 for a card owned at one time by hockey star Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNall, a former owner of the Los Angeles Kings. The card is so rare that even a tattered example can fetch $150,000.

Artfact Analysis:

A star shortstop for the 1900-1917 Pittsburgh Pirates, Honus Wagner’s card was issued in 1909. It was one of the first of hundreds of cards included by the American Tobacco Company in its packages of cigarettes. But Wagner demanded that his card be pulled after only 100 copies were made.

The exact reason for Wagner’s insistence upon the card’s removal has been lost in time, but the most widely accepted theory is that he disapproved of smoking and didn’t want to encourage kids to buy cigarettes. The other possible reason is that Wagner, who had a reputation as a tough negotiator, didn’t receive the compensation from the tobacco company that he thought he deserved.

Honus Wagner was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum as one of five members of the inaugural class of inductees in 1936 alongside Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth. Yet the rarity of his baseball card and the record prices it has set have succeeded in immortalizing his name in baseball’s storied history far beyond the hallowed halls of Cooperstown.

Despite hitting its peak of popularity in the early ’90s, when the card industry set a record with $1.1 billion in sales, baseball card collecting remains big business. One reason for the relative decline in sales is a simple example of supply and demand. There are so many companies producing cards, some loading their packs with hot players to satisfy the buyers’ need for instant gratification, that they have diluted the cards’ values.

Another reason for the decline in sales is a lack of ”heroes.” Tarnished by tabloid tales of steroid abuse, unbecoming behavior and infidelity, many of today’s top players lack the aura and mystique that surrounded so many of the greats of the last century.

Two pieces of Babe Ruth memorabilia are among the most expensive–and famous–pieces of baseball memorabilia ever sold at auction. The original 1919 contract selling Ruth to the New York Yankees from the Boston Red Sox, allegedly dropping the “curse of the Bambino” on the Sox, sold on eBay for $996,000 in 2005. In December 2004, the bat Ruth used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium in the third inning of a game against his former team was sold by Sotheby’s for $1.265 million.

In the baseball card trade, collectors tastes vary, but Mickey Mantle’s rookie card from 1952, the Topps Hank Aaron card from 1958, the 1971 Milk Duds Pete Rose card and the 1961 Post cereals Joe Cunningham card are eternal favorites.

For all the latest in this area of the collectibles market and millions of other auction records for art and antiques, go to Artfact.com for a one-month free trial.
artfact_360x65.jpgT206 White Border Honus Wagner ''Jumbo''

Mastro Auctions Presents: “Legends of the Gridiron”-and the Diamond Live Sports Auction

This is a fabulous collection…Best,

Matthew Roszak

A unique, important sale of sports memorabilia…

Session One: Legends of the Gridiron
One the largest private collections of high-end football memorabilia ever offered at public sale, featuring Charles White’s 1979 Heisman Trophy, a 1960’s Jim Brown Cleveland Browns game worn jersey, a Johnny Unitas 1971 Baltimore Colts game worn jersey, and a Bart Starr Green Bay Packers game worn helmet, to name just a few.

Session Two: Legends of the Diamond
This session of the auction will consist of no more than 100 stunning items, carefully selected to represent the best of the best of baseball memorabilia the hobby has to offer.

Visit http://www.mastroauctions.com for more information.

Viwawa to launch new game at GCA 2008

The team has worked very hard to get this game completed…way to go!…Cheers,

Matthew Roszak

Viwawa, Singapore’s number one MMO Casual game site will preview its latest casual game – Groword, where players form words to help their plants in their virtual garden flourish.

“Pendulab, (the company behind Viwawa, Singapore’s largest home-grown MMO Casual game site), is proud to participate in Asia’s definitive gaming event, Games Convention Asia. GCA 2008 provides a premier environment for the game industry to interact and grow together. The various thought leaders and gaming companies will be here and this year promises to be an exciting time for all of us.” said Christopher Low, Managing Director of Pendulab.

Visit http://www.viwawa.com for more information about its new game.

SilkRoad technology Expands Global Footprint in Asia Pacific Region

Terrific team in a fast growing region…Cheers,

Matthew Roszak


SilkRoad technology Expands Global Footprint in Asia Pacific Region with Senior Executive Appointments
Recent Funding Empowers Market Growth in Singapore and Australia
Sep 08 2008

Winston-Salem, N.C. – (September 8, 2008) – SilkRoad technology, inc., the leading provider of talent management solutions, announced today that the firm has expanded their global operations naming Peter Earnshaw Managing Director, Asia and Nicholas Roi as Managing Director, Australia. In addition, the firm is opening offices to support direct sales and marketing efforts in Singapore and Sydney, Australia. SilkRoad announced a $54 million dollar investment round earlier this year to build out operations that capitalize on the increasing global market demand for talent management solutions.

“I am pleased to announce that SilkRoad is delivering on our promise to investors to expand our operations and infrastructure to support our expanding client base worldwide,” said Andrew J. “Flip” Filipowski, Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, SilkRoad technology. “The addition of Peter Earnshaw and Nicholas Roi ensures that our customers in the Asia Pacific region will receive outstanding customer service and enjoy solutions that enable them to recruit and retain the best talent.”

With over ten years experience in technology and software, Earnshaw is based in Singapore and will lead the overall sales and marketing efforts for the Asia-Pacific region. Prior to joining SilkRoad technology, he was the Asia Pacific Director for Vurv Technology, which he launched in 2005. During his tenure, he built Vurv’s client base to include Singapore Airlines, HSBC, MGM Macau and Coca Cola Amatil until it was sold to Taleo in 2008. His previous roles include Business Development Manager for an Australian e-recruitment software provider responsible for key clients such as AirNZ, Mallesons and Woolworths.

Based in Sydney, Roi will lead the Australian sales and marketing efforts. He brings a deep knowledge of enterprise software with experience in the HR/Talent Management Software space gained during his time at Vurv as the Australian sales director. Roi’s team in Australia will report to Earnshaw, reprising the successful partnership Roi and Earnshaw enjoyed at Vurv.

About SilkRoad technology, inc.
SilkRoad technology, inc. provides software as a service (SaaS) solutions that significantly improve the talent within its more than 800 customers across the globe. Through SilkRoad’s Life SuiteTM, an integrated talent management solution, companies are able to hire better employees, identify high and low performers, drive a pay-for-performance culture and improve employee tenure. The SilkRoad Life Suite solution set includes OpenHireTM for recruiting management, RedCarpetTM for employee onboarding and life events, WingSpanTM for flexible employee performance management, GreenLightTM for compensation management, and EpriseTM for employee intranets and content management.

SilkRoad technology is headquartered in Winston-Salem, NC with offices in Bedford, MA; Chicago, IL; West Long Branch, NJ; and Hamburg, Germany. More information is available on the Web at www.silkroad.com or by phone: U.S. toll free at 866-329-3363 or internationally at +1-336-201-5100.