1909 T206 Eddie Plank Sweet Caporal PSA 5 EX PLANK!!!… The story of Eddie Plank's T206 card still confuses collectors more than 100 years after the item's release. Although riding on the legend of the famous Honus Wagner card since the beginning of the organized hobby, no definitive explanation has ever surfaced to explain Plank's rarity. Some attribute it to the same cause as the purported reason for Wagner's scarcity (an aversion to tobacco consumption), but this is as unlikely for Plank as it was for Wagner. Did Plank follow suit, with Wagner, to demand payment for the use of his image by the tobacco companies? Possibly, but it's doubtful. Did the printing plate break? Not very likely.
We do know that when Piedmont produced its first cards in 1909, Wagner was printed on the same sheet as Plank. But only a tiny number of Wagner's have ever surfaced with Piedmont backs and only a few Planks are known from that brand. Perhaps when Wagner's card was withdrawn, Plank's had to go, also, because of some obscure, production-related factor. Regardless, the absence of Plank's card remains evident in hobby circles, and just a scant number of credible examples have been confirmed. Coupled with the fact that the T206 "Monster" set of cigarette cards is one of the most desirable arrays in the hobby, the scarcity of Plank only adds to collectors' frustration.
The offered example delivers radiant quality in its blue-background portrait illustration. Although corners reflect evidence of circulation consistent with the item's grade, they do not for a moment threaten its superior and warm overall aesthetic. This scarcer-backed version of the sought-after card (with a "Sweet Caporal - 350 subjects" advertisement adorning the reverse instead of the more routine "150" variety) boasts wonderful clarity in its back's discreet red inking and perfectly toned background. Slightly off centered top to bottom with strong centering highlight this incredible find. Rarely offered, this is your chance to own one of the hobby's most sought after prizes.