Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XXXVII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/16/2011
The iconic E90-1 Joe Jackson PSA 2.5 rookie card presented here just might qualify as the “finest aesthetics for the grade” specimen in existence! One look at this renowned cardboard treasure immediately associates its revered eye appeal with any mid-grade subject circulating within the hobby. After completely scouring this card, we remain totally puzzled as to the primary source of its harsh technical assessment, with its awesome central image, bold plum purple background, virtual perfect centering, relatively square corners exhibiting only modest wear and no obtrusive surface blemishes all pointing towards a solid “VG-EX” example. Yet by virtue of prior experiences, there could certainly be a microscopic flaw only evident via a high powered lens that easily escapes the naked eye. More relevant for the bidding community; however, is the concept of possibly obtaining a “2.5” Joe Jackson rookie card that presents itself in a “VG/EX-EX” manner since it suffices as one of the finest mid-grade like specimens we have ever come across. That aside, no one will argue that while the T206 Wagner has achieved ‘crème of the crop’ status in the baseball card/memorabilia circuit, a presentable Joe Jackson rookie card stakes a claim as one of the most coveted cardboard collectibles and a “must have” for any world class collection. 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 in his cardboard relics as the years unfold. Jackson’s “Black Sox” legacy far exceeds any Cooperstown inductee’s renowned 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 immortal Black Betsy bat he leans on in his E90-1 masterpiece 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. In summary, even Babe Ruth modeled his mighty swing after him, and Cobb called him the best all around player he ever saw on a baseball field!
To reiterate, the central image of this hallowed Jackson rookie card depicts spectacular eye appeal with Jackson’s “leaning on the bat” pose well projected via the aforementioned bold sea purple background that adds a fine tranquil aura to Jackson’s iconic picture. Atypical for nearly every E90-1 Jackson subject is the near-perfect centering between four clean white borders, with the four somewhat square corners depicting only moderate wear near their outer boundaries. No glaring surface flaws are evident on both surfaces, and the reverse side “American Caramel Co. black advertisement is bold and vivid, affixed to an off-white surface. Whatever the criteria utilized by PSA for this somewhat puzzling grade is rendered virtually irrelevant due to the combined stature of its astonishing eye appeal and status as Joe Jackson inaugural cardboard artifact. While the Jackson E90-1 is certainly not as rare as the T206 Wagner, there simply aren’t enough surviving examples to satisfy the vintage collecting community. 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. Due to his banishment from baseball for allegedly taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series, there are a limited number of vintage Joe Jackson issues, justifying why elite enthusiasts scramble to obtain the few Jackson cards that remain available. Of these cards, none are more desirable than his 1909 American Caramel rookie card that sits near the top of the charts as one of the most formidable cards in the hobby and is included in PSA’s “Top 250 Sports Card” publication. With that in mind, we would not expect the most passionate collector to clear their property to build a “Field of Dreams”, but if you bid strong, one of Joe Jackson’s finest visually appealing rookie card will come!
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