Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 11/20/2009
Whether it is the “Shoeless Joe” or “Black Sox” legacy, every vintage enthusiast yearns to add a Joe Jackson card to their collection. Jackson’s sudden departure from the game after the 1920 season limited the number of Jackson cards in the market. His rookie card aside, what may be his most popular issue is the hallowed Cracker Jack specimen issued in 1914 and 1915. Cracker Jack baseball cards were inserted in the caramel boxes in both years with the Joe Jackson card the most coveted example of the 176 player checklist issued in 1915 (with all due respect to Ty Cobb!). With that in mind, presented here is Joe Jackson’s 1915 Cracker Jack card in a spectacular aesthetically pleasing PSA 4 holder! Only Babe Ruth can boast the myriad of baseball anecdotes applied to the great Joe Jackson including “Shoeless Joe”, “Black Betsy” and one of the most famous quotes in baseball history “Say it ain’t so Joe”! Joe Jackson’s legacy began way before he played in his first Major League game with the Philadelphia A’s in 1908. While playing with the minor league Greenville club in the Carolina Association, Jackson developed painful blisters due to breaking in a new pair of spikes. The next game he played without shoes with only his black stockings covering his feet. During the game as he rounded third base after hitting a long home run, one fan finally noticed and shouted “you shoeless sonofagun”! A sportswriter pick up on this, printed it the next day, and the legend of “Shoeless” Joe was born. After entering the Major Leagues, Jackson’s hitting dominance continued to emerge for both the Cleveland and Chicago American clubs to the tune of a .356 lifetime average. This run was tragically cut short when Jackson was banned from baseball forever for, allegedly, taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series. In lieu of this, Jackson was never placed in the HOF; however, due to the “Black Sox” scandal, his popularity has increased profoundly.
His remarkable hitting prowess is depicted in a classic Jackson batting image that has established itself as one of our hobby’s pictorial icons. You can feel yourself at one of “Shoeless Joe’s” games from a bygone era as he completes his unparalleled swing, scalding another line drive with his famous Black Betsy. The swinging pose portrays un-improvable contrast, set against a virtually flawless vibrant “fire engine” red background. The entire image moderately favors the left edge with the vertical centering “dead-on” 50/50, and the borders are clean. Atypical with Cracker Jacks, no staining whatsoever is evident on either side, and the bold black print registration throughout the card is completely vivid. Handling has produced only a touch of wear to the four corners that still portray a portion of their original right angle shape, and no major creasing is evident. Aesthetically speaking, this card presents as a super strong mid-grade example, surpassing its technical assessment, and quite possibly a candidate for a half grade uptick in PSA’s new grading system. More significantly, however, is that it is the renowned Joe Jackson Cracker Jack that merits a final resting place as the centerpiece in any elite collection. We would not expect the most passionate collector to clear their property to build a “Field of Dreams”, but if you bid strong, Jackson’s sanctified Cracker Jack will come!
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