Circa 1913 Eddie Plank Photo

Sold For: $2,644

Auction Year: 2010 spring

Lot: 1406

Item Year: 1913

Category: The Golden Age of Baseball Photography

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Vintage original press photo, culled from The Detroit News archives, capturing Hall of Fame pitcher Eddie Plank in a bust-length image as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics. By any measure, this is one of the finest original photographs of Eddie Plank ever seen. Reverse markings include an "American Press Association" credit stamp (in conjunction with a stamped news caption that reads "Veteran Ed Plank who still has many a good game left in him as the league averages show"), two date stamps reading, respectively, "Filed Before June 1919" and "Jul 14 1957," and handwritten editorial notations. If we assume that Plank is wearing a gray road uniform here, which appears to be the case, then according to the Baseball Hall of Fame uniform database, the jersey style shown here indicates that this photo was taken sometime during the two-year period 1913 through 1914. Plank was one of Connie Mack's top hurlers during the early 1900s and, as the caption indicates, he was still going strong at the time of this photo. Plank won eighteen and fifteen games, respectively, in 1913 and 1914, leading the A's to consecutive pennants and one World Championship (1913). In 1915 Plank, like a number of other prominent players at the time, jumped to the short-lived Federal League and later finished his career with the St. Louis Browns (1916-1917). Considered one of the greatest pitchers of all time, Plank retired in 1917 with 326 wins, which was the most by any left-handed pitcher until Warren Spahn surpassed him in 1962. The photo (9.125 x 8 inches), which displays remarkable clarity, has a number of very minor flaws common to nearly all working press photos, including two small tears along the top border, one of which has been repaired on the reverse by clear tape. Very Good to Excellent condition. Reserve $200. Estimate $400+. SOLD FOR $2,644

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