1909 Joe Jackson E90-1 American Caramel Rookie Card (PSA 2/MK)
Rookie card mania continues to captivate the card hobby, and only a handful of rookie cards could possibly boast the remarkable prestige of Joe Jackson's inaugural 1909 E90-1 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 "PSA 2.5" copy fetching over $30K, a "PSA 3" example realizing a likewise formidable $38K and a PSA 2 exceeding $25K. 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 stellar PSA Good 2/MK Joe Jackson rookie that, save the violet ink stamp on the verso, exhibits solid 'VG+" aesthetics. 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, 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 remarkable 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. During the game he slid into third base after belting a triple, one particular fan noticed his missing spikes 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 claimed 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 111-year existence. The relatively clean soft plum purple background adds a nice tranquil aura to Jackson's "timeless" illustration that atypically portrays fine centering between four white borders. No glaring creases or surface flaws are evident and the modestly round "VG-like" corners reveal a super eye pleasing uniformity.
As previously stated, the "MK" technical assessment is solely due to the violet ink stamp that reads "EMIL WOLF", a rather common practice for period collectors to stamp their names on the card's flipside. 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!
Note: The MK qualifier is not only due to the Emil Wolf violet ink stamp, but also due to Emil Wolf neatly inscribing his initials near the crossed bats.
MIN BID $5,000