This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 2/13/2009
When you think about the top cards in the industry, cardboard gems such as the T206 Wagner and Plank, The Babe Ruth rookie, Goudey Lajoie and 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle rookie all come to mind. None of these, however, can be considered more popular than the legendary “Shoeless” Joe Jackson’s E90-1 American Caramel card. This is, indeed, the immortal Joe Jackson’s rookie card, a timeless artifact that is sought after in any condition by almost all advanced card collectors. With that in mind, we are proud to offer one of the most aesthetically pleasing Jackson E90-1’s, graded a GAI 3.5. While a 3.5 may not be the highest grade, currently the industry’s top two grading companies SGC and PSA, COMBINED, have encapsulated over 90 American Caramel E90-1 Jackson’s with only 18 or 19% graded higher. In addition, we can almost guarantee that of those 18 graded higher, only a handful at most provide the overall aesthetics of this absolutely spectacular example! Only a minute loss of surface color (literally, a virtual “spec”!) directly above the left side of Jackson’s belt (the right side of the card) accounts for the grade. All other attributes of the card including color, contrast, corners, edging, centering, surface, print registration, etc. place this card in an Ex-Mt+ category! At first glance, we couldn’t understand the VG+ grade until detailed magnification revealed the aforementioned imperfection. Needless to say, the ultra critical eye appeal aspect of the card certainly overrules the technical grade. Regarding the aura of a Joe Jackson rookie card, one wonders why is it so desirable when he is not even a member of baseball’s Hall of Fame? Simply put, his Black Sox legacy far exceeds any HOF inductee’s 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 “Black Betsy’ bat, covered with tobacco juice, that he leans on in this masterpiece of a card 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. How great was Jackson as a ballplayer? His .356 lifetime average is 3rd behind only Cobb and Hornsby, Babe Ruth modeled his mighty swing after him, and Cobb called him the best all around player he ever saw grace a baseball diamond! As previously mentioned, the eye appeal of this masterpiece is absolutely outstanding, and far superior to the technical grade. Jackson’s famous “leaning on the Black Betsy bat’ image provides vivid registration with no fading whatsoever. The deep purple sea background lends itself to a “godly” look to Jackson’s pose as he prepares to step into the Batter’s box to hit another wicked line drive. The corners, while slightly touched, are relatively square, the borders are a clean white and the rectangular perimeter is sharp. Of significant importance is the centering which is virtually 50/50 all around, and almost impossible achievement for any Jackson rookie card! The back of the card is immaculate with fine print registration over a brilliant snow white background. (another rare characteristic for E90-1 cards). No creasing is evident and only the aforementioned minute top layer of color loss above Jackson’s belt prevents this card from being one of the highest graded examples in the universe. 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, “Shoeless” Joe may be the most highly sought after player on a cardboard relic. Due to his banishment from baseball for, allegedly, taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series, there are a limited number of major Joe Jackson issues making high end collectors scramble to obtain the few Jackson cards that remain available. Of these cards, none are more sought after than his rookie card, and the one offered here, from an aesthetics standpoint, certainly applies as one of the best in the business. Jackson’s rookie card continues to draw “top of the line” interest from the superior collectors in our treasured hobby and we expect this trend to continue. Before the current market price demands immeasurably soar to unaffordable levels, this is the perfect opportunity to seize the rookie card of one of baseball’s greatest mythical figures. 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”!
Brief History: After going to press the following details have come to our attention. This E90-1 Joe Jackson card was originally graded by PSA in 1993, in the infancy of card grading. It was assigned a PSA 7 NM grade. In 2008 the card was reviewed by PSA, determined to be trimmed and assigned an Authentic grade. The card was then sold at auction for $19,975.00. The winning bidder submitted the card to Global Authentication and it received a 3.5 VG+ grade.