Masterpieces & Uncommon Commons XXII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/17/2009
No one will argue that the T206 Wagner has achieved ‘crème of the crop’ status in the baseball card/memorabilia circuit. Undoubtedly, this card will forever be the benchmark for all other high end vintage cards, the artifact that will always come first and be synonymous with the treasured card industry. There are, however, a handful of cards, while not as valuable and prestigious as the T206 Wagner, that continue to rise in value and have become a ‘must have’ for any serious vintage card collection. One of these cards is the highly desirable E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson rookie card, presented here in a very eye pleasing SGC 40/3. To date, SGC has only graded 45 Joe Jackson rookies, with 8 or less than 20% exceeding this Joe Jackson example! Since it is the mystique behind the Wagner that has augmented its investment value, one can only wonder how the investment path of the Jackson rookie card will follow throughout the upcoming years. Wagner has solidified his place in the baseball memorabilia world via his “alleged” disdain for utilizing tobacco related products, yet Joe Jackson’s involvement in the “Black Sox” scandal is equally embellished in baseball folklore, and may continue to impress upon his followers the desire to invest unlimited funds in his cardboard relics as the years unfold. So how does a ballplayer who is not even enshrined in baseball’s illustrious HOF deserve such attention? The answer, simply stated is that his Black Sox legacy far exceeds any HOF inductee’s status. Jackson’s involvement in ‘throwing’ the 1919 World Series is immortalized in baseball history, leading to the post Black Sox phrase “Say it ain’t so Joe”! Yet, even before this scandal, Jackson was idolized by a countless number of avid baseball fans, and had already established an iconic relationship with all who followed his superlative career. The ‘Black Betsy’ bat, covered with tobacco juice, that he leans on in this masterpiece of a card will forever transcend time, and serve as a link to Joe Jackson and early 20th century baseball. His “Shoeless” nickname, godly in nature, sends us back to his minor league playing days for the Greenville club in the Carolina Association when Jackson played without shoes due to painful blisters that had developed from wearing a new pair of spikes. How great was Jackson as a ballplayer? His .356 lifetime average is 3rd behind only Cobb and Hornsby, Babe Ruth modeled his mighty swing after him, and Cobb called him the best all around player he ever saw grace a baseball diamond! This SGC 40/3 gem provides an almost “peaceful” plum purple background to Joe Jackson’s immortal ‘leaning on Black Betsy’ pose. Jackson’s portrait is vividly registered, and you can sense the grip of the famous Black Betsy bat accompanying Jackson in what might be a “batter on deck” portrayal of the Black Sox legend.
The entire image is well centered centered within clean white borders and the corners, while slightly round, are consistent with the grade. The entire perimeter is straight with only a slight angle cut at the top edge which is routine with many E90-1 Caramel cards. The back of the card is exceptionally clean and no major creases are evident. Of significant mention is the lower facial structure of Jackson, usually the major ‘stigma’ of this card due to exceptional bleeding, bold red lips. This example, however, portrays a seldom seen ‘normal’ colored mouth that blends perfectly with the remaining Jackson features.
Never could one imagine that a non HOF inductee rate in popularity with the likes of Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb,
Honus Wagner, etc., yet due to the “Black Sox” scandal, his popularity has increased profoundly. In fact,
“Shoeless” Joe may be the most highly sought after player on a cardboard relic. Due to his banishment from
baseball for, allegedly, taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series, there are a limited number of major Joe
Jackson issues making high end collectors scramble to obtain the few Jackson cards that remain available. Of these
cards, none are more desirable than the rookie card that is offered here. While not the T206 Wagner, the Jackson rookie certainly applies as one of the top 10 most wanted cards by any high-end vintage collector, is a top 250 sports card in PSA’s newly released book, and just may be the ‘next’ Holy Grail’ of our treasured hobby. With that in mind, you just might want to step up to the plate and seize this card BEFORE the T206 Wagner has six figure+ company to contend with!
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