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Exceedingly Scarce and Important 1911 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Unique Surviving Example)
Exceedingly Scarce and Important 1911 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Unique Surviving Example)
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Exceedingly Scarce and Important 1911 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Unique Surviving Example)

Details
Exceedingly Scarce and Important 1911 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Unique Surviving Example)
Provenance
Frank W. Smith Photographic Archive

Brought to you by

Elizabeth Seigel
Elizabeth Seigel Vice President, Specialist

Lot Essay

Joe Jackson began his baseball career in 1900 at the tender age of 13 with the Brandon Mill baseball team in his South Carolina hometown. From an early age it was evident that Jackson was truly something special. Even the rural sandlot fields of South Carolina could not mask Jackson's raw talent and eventually the rest of the baseball world began to take notice. In 1908, Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics purchased Jackson's contract from the Greenville Spinners of the Carolina Association for $325. Jackson had recently married and was reluctant to leave the comforts of his Southern hometown for the bustling Northeastern city of Philadelphia. Generally unhappy while in Philadelphia for portions of both the 1908 and 1909 seasons, Jackson had some trouble adjusting to life with the Athletics. In fact, on several occasions Connie Mack had to literally chase Jackson down after he fled the team. Consequently, he spent a portion of that time in the minor leagues. Jackson played most of the 1909 season with the South Atlantic League team in Savannah, Georgia for which he batted an astounding .358. It was clear that Jackson was simply not content with Philadelphia, and manager Mack was equally frustrated even though he clearly recognized the talent that Jackson possessed. Although Connie Mack was certainly one of the finest tacticians that the game has ever seen, he made a grave misjudgment in Jackson's case. After the 1909 season, Jackson was traded to the Cleveland Naps for Bris Lord. He would later join the Chicago White Sox and led them to a World Championship in 1917.
About Joe Jackson, Babe Ruth once said, "I copied Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw. He's the guy who made me a hitter." As Ruth's words illustrate, Joe Jackson was regarded by his peers as one of the greatest pure hitters in the game. During a relatively brief 13 year career, Jackson amassed over 1,700 hits, a .517 slugging percentage, and hit for a lifetime average of .356, which ranks as the third highest in MLB history.
Unfortunately, Joe Jackson was banished from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis along with seven other White Sox players after being implicated in fixing the 1919 World Series. Although the repercussions remain the same, the general consensus among baseball historians is that Jackson in fact did try his best during the 1919 Series (batting average of .375). Whether or not Joe Jackson merits enshrinement into the National Baseball Hall of Fame is certainly open to debate. The fact that he was one of, if not the greatest pure hitter in the history of the game, is not.
Offered is the crown jewel of the Frank W. Smith archive in the form of an original autographed photograph of Joe Jackson. The 8"x10" matte finish image pictures Jackson in throwing pose taken at spring training in Alexandria, LA in March of 1911. Image quality is outstanding with minimal surface wear and no mentionable defects. Blank back has four small paper residue spots at the corners from scrapbook adhesion mentioned for accuracy only. Front of the image has been boldy signed by Jackson in black fountain pen rating 9 out of 10. "Alexandria Mar 1911" inscription added by Smith, as is seen on several other Cleveland images from the archive. Jackson's labored and primitive signature formation is immediately recognizable due to his inability to formally read or write. As a result of Jackson's relative illiteracy there are scant few authentic examples of his autograph known to exist. To date, the offered Jackson signed image is the lone surviving example of any type. Based on the scarcity of signed images from this period, in general, coupled with the miniscule population of original Jackson autographs we cannot overstate the rarity of this offering. Includes full LOA from JSA and is encapsulated by PSA/DNA (MINT 9): Photo: Ex/MT-NM, Signature: MT
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