Masterpieces and Uncommon Commons XLIV
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 10/5/2012
As we patiently await Joe Jackson’s arrival from a Central America’s cornfield, the elite collector’s excruciating wait has fortunately expired for one of “Shoeless Joe’s” most remarkable Cracker Jack specimens to surface. It is our distinguished honor to present one of the most coveted cardboard masterpieces in existence; an absolutely extraordinary 1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson offering residing in an SGC NM/MT 92/8.5 holder! Needless to say, this virtually mint specimen suffices as one of Jackson’s rarest cards based on its miraculous technical assessment. In 1914 and 1915, the renowned Cracker Jack caramel corn boxes included baseball cards of the game’s most distinguished players. Ultra-popular with enthusiasts, Cracker Jack baseball cards share the distinction with the T206 “Monster Set” as the most exalted pre-WWI issue. Its seemingly endless list of stars including Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, etc., with one of the premier subjects being none other than “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. Obtaining an extremely high-grade Joe Jackson 1915 Cracker Jack example is a daunting task to say the least, justified by the COMBINED SGC and PSA census reports indicating only a SINGLE OTHER SPECIMEN at this stratospheric plateau. Furthermore, of the nearly 140 encapsulated copies on both of these illustrious “pop” charts, a paltry 4 specimens have managed to achieve the “Mint 9” grade. Indeed, with only a handful of other copies, this exalted offering resides as one of the finest Joe Jackson 1915 Cracker Jacks on the planet!
Whether it is his “Shoeless” or “Black Sox” legacy, most advanced enthusiasts yearn to add a prestigious Joe Jackson card to their elite collection. Jackson’s sudden departure from the game after the 1920 season limited the number of Jackson cards in the market. Save the legendary 1909 E90-1 rookie card, his most popular issue are the Cracker Jack subjects distributed in 1914 and 1915. 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 unbridled legacy began significantly before he played in his first Major League game with Connie Mack’s 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 affixed to 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 White Sox clubs to the tune of a .356 lifetime average. This run was tragically cut short when near the end of the 1920 season Jackson was banned from baseball forever, for allegedly taking part in “throwing” the 1919 World Series. In lieu of this scandal, Jackson was never placed in the HOF; however, due to his inclusion with the “Black Sox Eight”, his popularity has increased profoundly. His unparalleled batting prowess was clearly evident among his most competitive peers, with both Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth clearly indicating that Joe Jackson was the greatest hitter they ever saw. In fact, Babe Ruth was never bashful in stating that he emulated his mighty swing from Jackson’s virtually perfect hitting style, and “Shoeless Joe’s” legendary Cleveland Indian’s teammate Nap Lajoie always insisted you could close your eyes in batting practice and surely know it was Jackson in the cage simply by the crack of the bat. It is for all of these reasons that Jackson has established a nearly unequivocal status among the hobby’s foremost collectors, and what better possible cardboard gem to pursue than one of Jackson’s foremost Cracker Jack marvels.
The overall aesthetics of this miraculous heirloom simply takes your breath away via “jaw dropping” Jackson batting image as the iconic slugger demonstrates his incredible hitting prowess. The immortal pose depicts Jackson completing his hallowed swing after hitting what is most likely another scalding line drive with his famous Black Betsy. Crystal clear clarity and impeccable registration merit the finest possible accolades, the “fire engine” red background is virtually flawless, and the entire image is well centered between four absolutely dazzling white borders. A modest, almost negligible, “tilt” towards the upper right corner is more than overshadowed by the aforementioned immaculate central image and four blistering sharp corners. You can scour the hobby for an infinite amount of time and never encounter the visual appeal of this grandeur memento that most certainly merited serious consideration for the pinnacle ‘Mint 9” grade. As a final exclamation point to its sheer eminence, the reverse side jet-black typography is vividly registered against a super clean white surface. It is unimaginable that a nearly century old thin-layered cardboard relic could possibly boast the pristine attributes radiating from this timeless keepsake that stubbornly defies “father-time”. To reiterate, only a single other 1915 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson exists at this lofty level with a meager four specimens managing to achieve a mint assessment, substantiating its utmost reverence and sheer paucity level at the assigned grade. One of the finest Joe Jackson cards in existence, it certainly merits serious attention from the hobby’s most esteemed collectors, and while we would not expect the most passionate hobbyist to clear their property to build a “Field of Dreams”, if you bid strong, this grandeur “Shoeless Joe” Cracker Jack will come!
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