Superb 1909 T206 Eddie Plank - Sweet Caporal 350 Subjects/Factory 30 (PSA 4)
No world-class enthusiast could possibly question the irrefutable historical significance of the renowned T206 Eddie Plank, and its significance to the collecting community. Placing a close second to the T206 Wagner with regards to overall prestige, the Plank and Wagner share the distinction of being the two most celebrated ATC tobacco cards issued over a century ago, save any near-impossible efforts to obtain one of the few Joe Doyle "N.Y. Nat'l" variation specimens. Similar to the illustrious legacy of the T206 Wagner and how his alleged disdain for promoting tobacco products to children prompted him to discontinue the use of the exalted Wagner illustration on his T206 subject, the minimal number of Eddie Plank examples is sometimes linked to a similar contempt for his image being used to promote cigarettes. However, as time evolves, hobby conjecture now frowns upon this theory as it relates to Plank since his image was utilized during the Sweet Caporal 350 Subject series.
Additional speculation for the shortage of Planks includes a possible broken printing plate during the 150 Series printing process; the potential for Plank to have eventually granted his permission to the ATC by late July 1909 to utilize his image for the 350-Series due to re-negotiated compensation related issues; or even a possible ATC victory relating to a power struggle for the tobacco company to share the rights to use Plank versus various candy manufacturers. While full resolution may never be reached regarding the "definitive" reason for the T206 Plank shortage, what we do know with 100% certainty is capturing a near mid-grade example of this hallowed cardboard subject is both an excruciating and expensive task.
With that said, presented here is a spectacular PSA 4 T206 Eddie Plank that stands as one of only seven at this plateau with a meager eleven examples graded higher. Its overall condition sensitivity cannot be understated, especially considering that of the 70 total T206 Plank specimens listed on the PSA "Pop" Chart, roughly 75% have been assigned a lower technical assessment than this absolutely superb PSA 4 offering. Regardless of the exact reason for the T206 Plank rarity, the fact remains this sensational Eddie Plank T206 offering is categorized as an Industry "Top 5" baseball card and, undoubtedly, one of the most sought after vintage cards. Save the sanctified Wagner's T206 image, no other pre-WWII player portrait is more recognized than Eddie Plank's Carl Horner turn of the century photo affixed to his iconic T206 card.
The Plank illustration depicted on the presented card depicts fine contrast and exceptional resolution, set against a tranquil-like powder blue background reflecting minimal surface wear. The well centered image resides within four relatively white borders, the corners depict eye pleasing uniform wear consistent with the grade, and no obtrusive surface flaws are evident on either side. The only noteworthy surface blemish is a diminutive soiling spot situated on the upper left border. Fortunately, no glaring creases are evident, and the verso's Sweet Caporal 350 Subjects red verbiage is completely intact. The old cliché "a picture is worth a thousand words" certainly applies to this fine 108-year old marvel that has managed to best "father time" via its stellar aesthetics.
A myriad of advanced collectors are unyielding in their efforts to complete the 524 subject T206 "Monster" Set, validating why any T206 Eddie Plank offering arouses incredible hobby interest. Additionally, stepping aside from the T206 compilation aspect, a T206 Plank's prestige stands alongside other hobby cardboard icons such as the T206 Ty Cobb ad-back, 1916 Babe Ruth M101-5 Rookie, 1933 Nap Lajoie and 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle. Simply stated, no world-class collection could possibly be considered complete without a formidable example of the immortal T206 Plank, with this PSA 4 museum worthy masterpiece certainly sufficing as a perfect candidate to fill that void!
MIN BID $20,000