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Lot # 4 (4 of 1911)   « Previous Lot | Next Lot »

1909-1911 T206 White Border Eddie Plank

Starting Bid - $10,000, Sold For - $36,000

Presented is a magnificent technically low-grade example of the T206 Eddie Plank, one of card collecting's most legendary rarities. It will not take much comparing images of modest grade Planks that have sold over the years to realize that this is a particularly outstanding PSA 1 example, far superior to many others! The fact that this card has such great visual appeal and (like all of the hobby's most iconic cards) is extremely valuable in all grades will no doubt make this T206 Plank example of special potential interest to many collectors.

"Wagner, Plank, and Lajoie" are the baseball-card rarities that have long been referred to as "The Big Three." These three cards, Wagner and Plank from the T206 Series, and Nap Lajoie from 1933 Goudey, have traditionally represented the height of rarity, desirability, and value in the baseball-card world. When Jefferson Burdick first published the American Card Catalog in the 1930s, the T206 Wagner was listed as the most valuable baseball card in the world at a then-incredible $50. Plank was the second most valuable card, listed at $10. Over the years, since the days of Jefferson Burdick, other cards have come to be universally recognized as among collecting's most desirable cards, but "Wagner, Plank, and Lajoie" will always be the inaugural members of this elite club, and the three cards that purists among baseball-card collectors will always recognize as the ultimate symbols of baseball-card rarity. The reasons for the great rarity of Plank are shrouded in mystery. One popular explanation, which appears to have no basis in fact, is that the printing plate broke. It is far more likely that Plank also objected to having his picture packaged with cigarettes. Like Wagner, Plank is in all the candy-card sets of the era but does not appear in any of the primary tobacco-card sets issued during this same time period, such as T3, T201, T202, T205, or T207. Since Plank was one of the greatest stars of the day, it is unlikely that the tobacco companies simply forgot to put him in all these sets. It is far more likely that there is a common explanation.

The offered card is graded PR 1 by PSA due to a number of surface creases, almost all of which have managed to avoid Plank's face. The card is perfectly centered, with even rounding to the corners, bold colors, and a crisp image. The reverse features an advertisement for Sweet Caporal Cigarettes (350 Subjects, Factory No. 30). This is an extremely attractive low-grade example of one of card collecting's most significant rarities. Reserve $10,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $36,000


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