1909 T204 Ramly Eddie Plank PSA 7 NM – POP 2
NEAR-MINT PLANK!!! Directly after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the renowned commander-in-chief of the Japanese Naval Fleet, Admiral Yamamoto, delivered his legendary quote "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve". Synonymous with the "sleeping giant" phrase is the severely underrated 1909 T204 Ramly Eddie Plank portraying his iconic Carl Horner portrait pose made famous on Plank's renowned T206 subject. Unquestionably, the T206 Plank ranks as one of the top ten "giants" of the card circuit, and if the T206 Honus Wagner is our hobby's "Holy Grail", then its T206 Eddie Plank brethren should be classified as the "Mona Lisa". We are all familiar with the legacy of the T206 Wagner and how his disdain for tobacco products prompted him to discontinue the distribution of his tobacco Sweet Caporal subject, resulting in the few surviving examples.
Likewise, there are a reduced number of Eddie Plank T206 subjects available, with the reason for the Plank shortage shrouded in mystery. Many advanced enthusiasts now believe the shortage was not attributed to the original "broken printing plate" myth. If there had truly been a printing plate issue, why not replace it? And did a broken plate prevent the production of other nationally distributed Plank tobacco cards for the T201, T202, T205 and T207 issues from that era? The answer is most likely "no", with the alleged scarcity most likely similar to Honus Wagner's refusal to promote tobacco products. The fact remains that only a handful of Plank tobacco cards were issued in the 1909-1916 period, including his T206 and T204 issues. Additionally supporting the aforementioned Plank tobacco card theory is the shortage of T204 Ramly Planks listed on the COMBINED SGC and PSA census reports, with only a combined 45 graded examples at the time this was written. This meager count represents only 75% of the approximate 60+ known T206 Wagner's and roughly 40% of the 110 graded T206 Planks.
While we may never achieve full resolution on why there is an obvious shortage of Plank tobacco cards, statistically speaking, it certainly appears Plank withheld his permission for various tobacco companies to utilize his image (whether for a disdain of tobacco products or not being sufficiently funded). Seldom offered at auction, the T204 Plank remains one of the significantly tough cardboard prizes to capture and one of the most ornate and aesthetically brilliant baseball cards manufactured from the dead ball era, via their gold embossed designs.
That said, presented here just happens to be one of the finest existing T204 Planks, a spectacular PSA 7 marvel that, along with a single other 7, has only been bested by a paltry two PSA examples! SGC does not list a single Plank at this lofty plateau, with Plank's iconic black and white Carl Horner pose boasting the finest imaginable contrast and clarity. While the iconic image does favor the left edge, the richly hued gold borders only reveal some diminutive touching near the corners' tips. The ornate gold embossed vines and flowers still retain all of their original gold color, set against a superb ivory-colored background. Pack-fresh surfaces have eluded any notable wear, and the critical RAMLY ad back is super clean. While we are certainly not suggesting that the T204 Ramly Eddie Plank will be the next hobby "Holy Grail", one cannot ignore the simple fact that it is one of only two mainstream Eddie Plank tobacco issues from that era. This justifies dubbing the T204 Plank as one of the hobby's next "sleeping giants", with this extraordinary PSA 7 masterpiece offering unlimited investment potential!
MIN BID $5,000