Checking In With Lionel Carter

Shortly after I won Lionel Carter's Eddie Plank in the April 2007 Mastro auction, I sent him a letter asking him a few questions about where he got it.  I worked through Doug Allen, President and Chief Operating Officer, at Mastro Auctions to ensure that the letter got to Mr. Carter.  Having received no response nearly 8 months later, I thought it might be time to call Mr. Carter myself and ask him a few questions about the Plank.  As a result, on January 2, 2008, I decided to call Mr. Carter on the telephone.  He was more than happy to talk with me and his comments were insightful and infused with his good humor.  He promised to write me a letter regarding his acquisition of the Plank.  (At the bottom of this page, you can listen to or read the transcript of my telephone conversation with Mr. Carter.)

Shortly after our telephone conversation, Mr. Carter sent me a note, explaining the delay in his research into the Plank card.  That note is set forth below:

 

Lionel Carter postcard regarding Eddie Plank card.

And then a couple of weeks later, on January 21, 2008, Mr. Carter sent me a letter, amending his explanation on the telephone and explaining when and where he acquired the Plank.  I have shared a scan of that letter below.  A bit hard to read, the text of the letter is as follows:

Sorry to be so late with your request for information on the Eddie Plank card, but I’ve been busy with the auction of my card collection which I was forced to sell by the Evanston police after I left an outer door unlocked and was faced with an unwelcome guest who was 50 pounds heavier than I am and 50 years younger (I’m 90). They took $420,000 in baseball cards which the police recovered. My valuable cards were mounted in albums and in the book case and mistaken for a set of books. I would never have sold them!
As for Mr. Plank, I purchased him in Charles Bray sale of 440 lots in the Card Collector’s Bulletin of May 10, 1957 listed as a cigar box full of baseball cigarette cards for $5.00! Figured I had nothing to lose and bid $5.00 and was surprised to get them. All fair or good condition except Plank. Nearly threw him away. Glad he has a nice home!

Sincerely,
Lionel Carter

Click the arrow below to hear the phone interview with Lionel Carter: