Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIII
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/24/2012
No one will argue that the T206 Wagner has achieved ‘crème of the crop’ status in the baseball card circuit. Undoubtedly, this card will forever be the benchmark for all other high end vintage cards, the first and foremost artifact paving the way for the sports card hobby. There are, however, a handful of cards, while not as valuable and prestigious as the T206 Wagner, that continue to rise in desirability and stature, becoming a “must have” for any world class collection. One of these cards is the highly sought after E90-1 American Caramel Joe Jackson rookie card, presented here in a superb SGC 40/3 holder. While a “VG-3” grade doesn’t easily arouse a “spine tingling” sensation for any advanced collector, consider that for the TOTAL SGC and PSA encapsulated Joe Jackson rookie cards, a staggering 62% fall SHORT of the “VG” technical assessment with a mere 18% achieving this offerings seldom surfacing grade!
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. 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 as time evolves, Jackson’s steadfast followers may continue to significantly invest in his true inaugural baseball card. 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. 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.
No baseball card of an immortal player can possibly boast the prestige of their rookie card and only a handful of legendary rookie specimen could match the sheer hallowed presence of Joe Jackson’s inaugural keepsake. While Jackson only made 40 plate appearances for Connie Mack at the end of the 1909 season before he was eventually shuffled off to the Cleveland Indian’s organization, his brief Major League encounter with the Philadelphia Athletics resulted in his irrefutable American Caramel rookie card. The central image of this sanctified SGC 40/3 offering depicts spectacular eye appeal with Jackson’s “leaning on the bat” pose unscathed by the peripheral light horizontal wrinkle extending from the right border directly above the classic “A” on his period style Athletics uniform. The super clean soft plum purple background adds a nice tranquil aura to Jackson’s iconic picture, with the image atypically well centered between four somewhat clean borders. The rounded corners provide a superb eye pleasing uniformity with the two lower corners exhibiting some moderate wrinkles and slight enamel peel. The final compliment to this fine aesthetically appealing heirloom is the relatively clean American Caramel ad back retaining a majority of its original bold typography. As previously stated, 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. In fact, a pre-WWI Joe Jackson baseball card suffices as one of the most coveted cardboard collectibles. 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, Jackson’s rookie card will come!
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