In the realm of sports memorabilia, few items spark as much intrigue as the rare 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank baseball card. Currently featured in the PWCC Marketplace’s December Premier Auction, this card is more than just a collector’s item; it’s a piece of baseball lore, embodying the story of one of the early 20th century’s greatest pitchers, Eddie Plank.
Eddie Plank, known as “Gettysburg Eddie,” was a left-handed pitcher who carved out a niche as one of the most effective pitchers in the “Deadball Era.” His career spanned from 1901 to 1917, during which he achieved an impressive 326 wins and maintained a career ERA of 2.35 over 623 games. In his final season, he achieved a sterling 1.79 ERA. Plank’s excellence extended to the World Series, where he posted a 1.32 ERA in 54 2/3 innings, helping the Philadelphia Athletics secure three championships.
Despite his impressive achievements, Plank often remained overshadowed by his contemporaries like Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. However, his prowess on the mound was not lost on all, as evidenced by Babe Ruth’s 1926 letter, where Ruth extolled Plank as one of the game’s best pitchers.
The T206 Eddie Plank card, produced between 1909 and 1911, is a testament to Plank’s legacy. Considered the second-rarest tobacco card after the T206 Honus Wagner, it is a coveted treasure in the world of vintage baseball card collecting. The card’s scarcity has given rise to various theories, including Plank’s possible dislike for cigarettes, a broken printing plate during production, or a simple error.
The card currently on auction at PWCC Marketplace, graded SCG 1 PR, is particularly rare and had attracted a bid of $32,000. Its rarity is underscored by the fact that it has appeared only 11 times in public auctions in recent years. The card’s grading history is also notable, with only 39 graded by SGC and 21 by PSA.
The auction also features other rare items, such as a 1909-11 T206 Sherry Magie (Magee) PIEDMONT 150 error card, known for its misspelling of Magee’s name. This card, graded PSA 2, highlights the unique quirks that make card collecting an intriguing hobby.
Among the notable cards in the auction are a 1997 Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems Michael Jordan /50 card, graded BGS 9, and a 1982 NCAA Finals Ticket Stub autographed by Michael Jordan. These items represent key moments in basketball history. Additionally, the auction features a 2015 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Blue Connor McDavid ROOKIE /50 card, the only one graded PSA 10, and a 1998 Ultra Masterpieces Tim Duncan 1/1 #55P card, graded PSA 7.
The 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank card stands out not just for its rarity but also for its connection to a pivotal era in baseball history. It represents a time when legends were forged, and the sport was shaping its identity. For collectors and baseball enthusiasts, acquiring this card is not just about owning a rare piece of memorabilia; it’s about holding a fragment of the sport’s rich and storied past.