1909 Joe Jackson E90-1 American Caramel Rookie Card (SGC 30/2)
Rookie card mania continues to captivate the card hobby, and only a handful of rookie cards could possibly boast the remarkable prestige of the 1909 Joe Jackson inaugural issue. The pricing floodgates have obviously opened for this iconic heirloom with an "EX/5" example selling for an astonishing $143K in 2016. Lower grade specimens are likewise achieving record prices with a "Good+/2.5" copy fetching over $30K and a "VG/3" example realizing a likewise formidable $38K. Simply stated, there appears to be no boundaries for this highly coveted "Shoeless Joe" rookie marvel that was seemingly undervalued for quite some time. With that in mind, we at Memory Lane are proud to present this superb SGC 30/2 Joe Jackson rookie that stands as one of the few existing examples where "Shoeless" Joe's bold red lips are appropriately lined up with his mouth, rather than being directly situated beneath his nose as if his lips were a moustache!
Indeed, a majority of the legendary E90-1 Joe Jackson rookies reflect "off-registered" lips, with this typical stigma an on-going collecting nightmare for the hobby's most meticulous enthusiasts. The celebrated mystique behind the inaugural Jackson E90-1 subject ironically stems from his involvement in the "Black Sox" scandal that is embellished in baseball folklore. Jackson's "Black Sox" legacy far exceeds any Cooperstown inductee's renowned status with his involvement in "throwing" the 1919 World Series forever immortalized in baseball history and 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 a legendary 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 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. The next game he played without shoes with only his black stockings covering 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 immediately picked-up on this, printed it the next day, and the legend of "Shoeless" Joe was born. Jackson played 10 games for Philadelphia in 1908 and 1909 before he was released by Connie Mack to go on and embark on an incredible run with both Cleveland and Chicago, eventually accumulating an unfathomable .356 lifetime average. Babe Ruth modeled his swing after him, Cobb called him the best all-around player he ever saw, and almost every teammate and opposing player insisted that by the sound of the crack of the bat alone, they knew Jackson was standing in the batter's box.
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 fortunately resulted in the American Caramel Company issuing his irrefutable rookie card. An aesthetically pleasing Jackson rookie treasure, the central image of this stellar offering depicts outstanding eye appeal with the iconic Jackson's "leaning on the bat" pose remaining basically unscathed throughout its 110-year existence.
The relatively clean soft plum purple background adds a nice tranquil aura to Jackson's "timeless" illustration that does favor the right edge between four somewhat toned borders. To reiterate, one of its foremost features are Jackson's "well-registered red lips", a seldom-surfacing near-perfect attribute fortunately evident on this esteemed subject. A somewhat horizontal crease extends from the right to left edges directly through Jackson's pantaloons, the corners exhibit moderate wear consistent with the grade and both the upper and lower edges reflect consistent "butterfly" cuts. A relatively clean American Caramel verso is the final exclamation point for one of the most exalted cardboard issues extant.
While the Joe Jackson E90-1 is certainly not rare, there 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 lieu of his banishment from baseball for his alleged participation in "throwing" the 1919 World Series, there are a limited number of vintage Joe Jackson issues, justifying why elite enthusiasts scramble to obtain the handful of existing Jackson issues.
None of them could possibly be considered more desirable than his 1909 American Caramel rookie card that stands as one of the most exalted cards in the hobby as well as being 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, this aesthetically appealing "Shoeless Joe" rookie card will come!
MIN BID $5,000