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

In the world of sports memorabilia, few items draw as much fascination as the exceptionally rare 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank baseball card. Currently featured in the esteemed PWCC Marketplace’s December Premier Auction, this card transcends mere collectibles—it encapsulates a piece of baseball history, woven into the narrative of one of the greatest pitchers of the early 1900s, Eddie Plank.

Hailing from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Eddie Plank, affectionately known as “Gettysburg Eddie,” solidified his reputation as one of the most formidable left-handed pitchers in the “Deadball Era” of baseball. Over his career spanning from 1901 to 1917, he amassed an impressive 326 wins and maintained a remarkable career ERA of 2.35 across 623 games. In his exceptional final season, Plank achieved a sterling 1.79 ERA. Notably, his excellence carried into the World Series, where he boasted a remarkable 1.32 ERA in 54 2/3 innings, playing a vital role in securing three championships for the Philadelphia Athletics.

Despite Plank’s impressive achievements, he often found himself overshadowed by his contemporaries such as Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson. However, his prowess on the mound did not go unrecognized, as reflected in a 1926 letter from the legendary Babe Ruth. Prior to becoming one of the most revered sluggers in baseball history, Ruth himself admired 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. Regarded as the second-rarest tobacco card, trailing only the infamous T206 Honus Wagner, it is a highly sought-after gem in the realm of vintage baseball card collecting. The card’s scarcity has spurred various theories, including Plank’s potential aversion to cigarettes, a broken printing plate during production, or a simple printing error.

The T206 Eddie Plank card currently up for auction in the PWCC Marketplace’s December Premier Auction is graded SCG 1 PR and has already attracted a bid of $32,000. Its rarity is further reinforced by the fact that it has emerged in public auctions only 11 times in recent years. Notably, the card’s grading history stands out, with a mere 39 graded by SGC and 21 by PSA.

In addition to the prized Eddie Plank card, the auction also features other exceptional items. Among them is the 1909-11 T206 Sherry Magie (Magee) PIEDMONT 150 error card, renowned for its misspelling of Magee’s name. Graded PSA 2, this particular card embodies the peculiarities that make card collecting a captivating hobby.

Furthermore, the auction showcases other notable cards, including the 1997 Metal Universe Championship Precious Metal Gems Michael Jordan /50 card, graded BGS 9. Additionally, a 1982 NCAA Finals Ticket Stub autographed by Michael Jordan represents a pivotal moment in basketball history. The auction also caters to hockey enthusiasts, with the inclusion of a 2015 Fleer Showcase Metal Universe Blue Connor McDavid ROOKIE /50 card, the sole PSA 10 graded one available, and a 1998 Ultra Masterpieces Tim Duncan 1/1 #55P card, graded PSA 7.

In essence, the 1909-11 T206 Eddie Plank baseball card stands apart not merely due to its scarcity but also due to its profound connection to a seminal era in baseball history. It commemorates a time when legends were forged, and the sport diligently shaped its identity. For collectors and passionate baseball aficionados, securing this card signifies more than owning a rare piece of memorabilia—it involves holding a fragment of the sport’s enthralling and rich past.

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