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Description1910 T206 Eddie Plank SGC 40 VG 3. The other Hall of Fame "Holy Grail" of the hobby's most popular tobacco card issue, Gettysburg Eddie shares with the fabled Honus Wagner both a maddening elusiveness and an apocryphal tale accounting for his rarity. While the Old Dutchman is said to have demanded withdrawal of his image from the card set based upon the noble objective that he play no role in the encouragement of youth smoking, the leading theory for Plank's short print involves a broken printing plate that ended production of his card shortly after it began. While these issues remain a point of debate over a century later, there is full consensus that this pair of Dead Ball Era icons rate among the most important and desirable entries in the Standard Guide.
The issue finds both Plank and the Philadelphia Athletics team he represented at the height of their collective powers, with the elite southpaw posting a 1.96 ERA over the three-year (1909-11) production span, leading the White Elephants to a pair of World Championships (1910-11). His portrait, a colorized version of celebrated photographer Carl Horner's studio shot, suggests a serene confidence, and presents here with bright coloration and flawless registration. The visual strength is that of a superior grade.
Points are lost for the rounded corners that are endemic to Dead Ball Era cardboard, and a bit of minimal toning to the "Sweet Caporal 350 Subjects" reverse. But for a card so rare that completion of the T206 set does not require ownership, such petty misgivings must be put in their proper place. But for those who wish to scale the Mount Everest of the hobby, a winning bid will bring you a Wagner and a Magie away from what is otherwise a comparatively simple hike in the foothills.
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