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The Enigmatic Rarity of Eddie Plank’s 1909-11 T206 Card

In the world of sports memorabilia, there are certain items that hold a special allure, and one such item is the rare 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank baseball card. This exceptional card, currently featured in the PWCC Marketplace’s December Premier Auction, is more than just a collector’s item; it encapsulates the story of Eddie Plank, one of the most celebrated pitchers of the early 20th century.

Born in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Eddie Plank, also known as “Gettysburg Eddie,” established himself as one of the most formidable left-handed pitchers during the “Deadball Era” of baseball. From 1901 to 1917, Plank amassed an incredible 326 wins and maintained a career ERA of 2.35 over 623 games. In his final season, he achieved an outstanding 1.79 ERA. Plank’s talent was evident in the World Series as well, where he boasted a remarkable 1.32 ERA in 54 2/3 innings, aiding the Philadelphia Athletics in securing three championships.

Despite his impressive career, Plank often found himself overshadowed by his contemporaries like Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. Nevertheless, his remarkable skills on the mound were acknowledged by none other than Babe Ruth himself. In a 1926 letter, Ruth, himself a former pitcher turned legendary slugger, praised Plank as one of the game’s finest pitchers.

The T206 Eddie Plank card, produced between 1909 and 1911, serves as a testament to Plank’s enduring legacy. It is considered the second-rarest tobacco card in existence, trailing only the famous T206 Honus Wagner card. The rarity of the Plank card has led to various theories, including the possibility that Plank disapproved of cigarettes, a printing plate mishap during production, or a simple printing error.

The specific T206 Eddie Plank card being auctioned by PWCC Marketplace is graded SCG 1 PR, adding to its rarity and allure. Currently, it has garnered a bid of $32,000. Remarkably, this card has appeared in public auctions only 11 times in recent years. Its grading history is equally notable, with only 39 cards graded by SGC and 21 by PSA.

Alongside the coveted Eddie Plank card, the PWCC Marketplace’s auction also showcases other exceptional items, including a 1909-11 T206 Sherry Magie (Magee) PIEDMONT 150 error card, renowned for its misspelling of Magee’s name. Graded PSA 2, this card exemplifies the intriguing quirks that make card collecting such a captivating hobby.

The auction further features other noteworthy cards, including a 1997 Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems Michael Jordan card graded BGS 9, and a 1982 NCAA Finals Ticket Stub autographed by Michael Jordan, representing a significant moment in basketball history. Additionally, collectors will find a 2015 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Blue Connor McDavid ROOKIE /50 card, the only one graded PSA 10, as well as a 1998 Ultra Masterpieces Tim Duncan 1/1 #55P card, graded PSA 7.

The 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank card stands out not only for its rarity but also for its connection to a pivotal era in baseball history. It represents a time when legends were born, and the sport was shaping its identity. For collectors and baseball enthusiasts, acquiring this card goes beyond owning a rare piece of memorabilia; it means holding a fragment of the sport’s rich and storied past. So, as the card goes up for auction, its allure and mystique are sure to captivate the hearts and minds of enthusiasts worldwide.

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