In the realm of sports memorabilia, there are few items that capture the attention and fascination of collectors quite like the rare 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank baseball card. Now up for auction in the PWCC Marketplace’s December Premier Auction, this card is more than just a piece of cardboard; it encapsulates the story of Eddie Plank, one of the greatest pitchers of the early 20th century.
Eddie Plank, affectionately known as “Gettysburg Eddie,” hailed from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and established himself as one of the most formidable left-handed pitchers of the “Deadball Era” in baseball. His career spanned from 1901 to 1917, during which he amassed an impressive 326 wins and maintained a career ERA of 2.35 across 623 games. In his final season, he achieved an astonishing 1.79 ERA. Plank’s excellence extended to the World Series, where he recorded a remarkable 1.32 ERA in 54 and 2/3 innings, helping the Philadelphia Athletics secure three championships.
Despite his remarkable achievements, Plank often found himself overshadowed by his contemporaries such as Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. However, his remarkable talent did not go unnoticed by all. In a letter penned in 1926, Babe Ruth, himself a formidable pitcher before becoming a legendary slugger, praised Plank as one of the game’s best pitchers.
The T206 Eddie Plank card, produced between 1909 and 1911, serves as a lasting testament to Plank’s legacy. Regarded as the second rarest tobacco card after the T206 Honus Wagner, it is a highly sought-after gem in the world of vintage baseball card collecting. The card’s scarcity has given rise to various theories, from Plank’s rumored dislike of cigarettes to a broken printing plate during production, or perhaps a simple printing error.
The card currently up for auction at PWCC Marketplace, graded SCG 1 PR, is exceptionally rare and has already attracted a bid of $32,000. Its scarcity is further highlighted by its appearance in public auctions only 11 times in recent years. The grading history of this card is also significant, with only 39 graded by SGC and 21 by PSA.
The auction also features other noteworthy items, such as the 1909-11 T206 Sherry Magie (Magee) PIEDMONT 150 error card, which is famous for misspelling Magee’s name. Graded PSA 2, this card exemplifies the unique quirks that make card collecting such a fascinating hobby.
Additionally, the auction showcases several exceptional cards, including 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, representing a pivotal moment in basketball history. Furthermore, the auction offers collectors the chance to acquire a 2015 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Blue Connor McDavid ROOKIE /50 card, the sole card 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 transformative era in baseball history. It represents a time when legends were born and the sport was shaping its identity. Owning this card is not merely about possessing a valuable piece of memorabilia; it’s about holding a fragment of the sport’s rich and storied past. For collectors and baseball enthusiasts alike, the allure and fascination surrounding this card are immeasurable.