What’s So Special about the Eddie Plank T206 Card?
Hint: Take a look at the back of your card, it might just say reprint on it! Also, if the card looks brand new, it’s probably not authentic.
As if it’s not enough that some of the more valuable T206 tobacco cards are pretty hard to find, the Eddie Plank T206 baseball card takes scarcity to a whole new level. This card is already one of the more valuable baseball cards in existence, with some fetching north of $100k at auction. The real trick is actually finding one.
The common theory for why this card is so rare is because the printing plate used for the Plank card was somehow broken or damaged while the card was in early production. While we don’t know if this is truly accurate or not, it is a bit difficult to believe as the T206 cards were issued in three different series – the 150 series, the 350 series and the 460 series. Plank’s card is most commonly found with a 150 series back, but has also been seen with a 350 series back. This means that the printing plate didn’t become damaged or broken early in the production phase.
It’s possible that the real reason for the scarcity of the card is because Plank was opposed to endorsing tobacco, as it is rumored that Honus Wagner felt the same way. That would explain why you don’t find his image on any of the other tobacco baseball card sets (T201, T202, T205, or T207) from the same era.
Even though the true cause for the scarcity is unknown, and may never be fully known or understood, the fact that there are only around 75 Eddie Plank T206 tobacco cards in existence is reason enough for its status as one of the more valuable cards created.