Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/12/2010
Whether it is the “Shoeless” or “Black Sox” legacy, every avid enthusiast yearns to own a Joe Jackson card from his playing days. 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 1914 Cracker Jack. While Cracker Jack baseball cards were inserted in the caramel boxes in both 1914 and 1915, what makes aesthetically pleasing 1914 issues so tough (as opposed to 1915 issues) was that the 1915 cards could be obtained as a set via mail order. The only methodology for collecting the 1914 version was to pull them from the Cracker Jack box, resulting in serious caramel staining on many of these existing subjects. Furthermore, the 1914 issue is the FIRST Cracker Jack issue, with most of the 1915 players mirroring the exact image used for the 1914 set. This justifies why many collecting purists disregard the 1915 set, placing an extreme emphasis on gathering the 1914 stars. With that in mind, presented here is the incomparable Joe Jackson 1914 version in a superior eye appealing PSA 2 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 as “Shoeless Joe” follows through after hitting another scalding line drive with his famous Black Betsy. The swinging pose portrays awesome contrast, set against a vibrant “fire engine” red background. The entire image slightly favors the right edge, with minimal staining along the lower border. The edging is fine, and the evenly worn corners still retain a significant portion of their original square shape. The reverse side bold black print is vividly registered, and the background depicts the standard toning associated with a card that is nearing its 100th birthday. No major creases are evident and only a moderate impression running from the upper right edge directly above Jackson’s left shoulder, approximately 1-1/4” in length and ¼” from Jackson’s left ear accounts for the technical grade. However, this does not minimize the superior eye appeal of this highly desirable Joe Jackson cardboard masterpiece that portrays qualities, save the impression, more consistent with a VG-EX card including minimal staining for a 1914 Cracker Jack issue. 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 ultra popular 1914 Cracker Jack will come!
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