Extraordinary c.1913 Shoeless Joe Jackson PSA Type 1 Encapsulated Charles M. Conlon Photo – Measures Approx. 6" x 8" – "Shoeless Joe's" Most Exalted Image!
There aren't enough complimentary adjectives in the English language to appropriately define this extraordinary c.1913 Charles M. Conlon PSA Type 1 batting image of the legendary "Shoeless" Joe Jackson! A bona-fide "match made in heaven", this iconic offering truly resides as Joe Jackson's most revered illustration extant, ably assisted by the fact that it was taken by the renowned Charles M. Conlon, who arguably stands as baseball's most illustrious all-time photographer (along w/Carl Horner & Paul Thompson). Originally struck during the 1913 era, it was issued at a time when Jackson was establishing himself as baseball's foremost hitter along with the great Tyrus Cobb.
After entering the Major Leagues with Connie Mack's Athletics in 1908, it was clear to Mack that Jackson was not going to flourish in a "big city" environment, eventually trading this "country bumpkin" to Cleveland after only 41 plate appearances in his two short uneventful seasons in Philadelphia. The Indians would call up Jackson from the minor leagues in 1910, with the standout slugger finally displayed his unparalleled batting skills with Cleveland, batting a robust .387 the remainder of the season. It all came together for "Shoeless" Joe from 1911 thru 1913, when the prolific batsman posted consecutive sensational averages of .408, ,395 and .373 respectively.
Although his formidable .338 average for the 1914 campaign represented a somewhat "drop" in his previous production, Jackson would continue his batting exploits the remainder of his career with Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox to the tune of an unfathomable .356 lifetime average. Unfortunately for "Shoeless" Joe, his career was tragically cut short when he was banned from baseball forever for allegedly taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series; yet due to the infamous "Black Sox" scandal his popularity has increased profoundly. One of our National Pastime's greatest all-time hitters, Jackson's stature carries as much weight in the hobby as any prestigious baseball subject. Long before the 1919 World Series travesty would shock the baseball world, Jackson's unparalleled legacy would begin prior to playing in his first Major League game with the 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 covering his feet. During the game as he slid into third base after hitting a booming triple, a fan noticed he was not wearing spikes and shouted "you shoeless sonofagun"! A sportswriter picked up on this, printed it the next day, and the legend of "Shoeless" Joe was born. His remarkable batting swing was so perfect that even the immortal Babe Ruth was said to have mirrored his swing after Jackson, and the legendary Nap Lajoie always insisted he could close his eyes during batting practice and know exactly when Jackson was hitting the baseball simply by the bone chilling sound of the ball coming off of the barrel of Jackson's classic Black Betsy.
Indeed, the legacy of "Shoeless Joe" goes far beyond his amazing statistical achievements, with this unbridled superstar literally establishing himself as a "cult hero" among his ardent followers. Therefore, it comes as little surprise that the hobby's most passionate enthusiasts seek Jackson's finest collectibles, with only a mere few possibly besting this world-class Charles Conlon batting image that unquestionably ranks atop the list of all the known Joe Jackson photos. In fact, its pinnacle stature led to a record setting price when this exact same photo sold roughly two years ago for the staggering sum of $66,000. The quintessential Jackson image, it proudly stands as one of the "kingpin" photos included in author Neal McCabe's prestigious book "BASEBALL'S GOLDEN AGE – THE PHOTOGPRAHS OF CHARLES M. CONLON" that includes 205 of Conlon's finest illustrations. Taken roughly six years before Jackson would literally sell his soul to the devil during the 1919 World Series "fix", the image reveals a stoic Jackson facial expression as "Shoeless Joe" portrays his typical intensity before a pitched baseball, hands firmly clinched to Jackson's immortal Black Betsy while his period-style glove is neatly secured in his back pocket.
Captivating to say the least, Jackson is showcasing his 1913/'14 period Cleveland road flannels via its awe-inspiring crystal-clear clarity, and since Charles Conlon was a New York based photographer, we would highly assume the image was originally struck at the Polo Grounds rented by the Yankees thru the end of the 1922 campaign. Baseball enthusiasts are all too familiar with the term "stare down the pitcher", and no batting photo we have ever encountered exhibits a more powerful look than the unparalleled Jackson gaze so effectively captured in a "moment of time" via Conlon's fabled lens. Indeed, that was the sheer beauty of Charles Conlon's work, freezing time via a simple candid photo that would seemingly "echo for eternity" such as this unfathomable Type 1 offering.
Just as impressive as the timeless image are its overall breathtaking aesthetics, with the well-contrasted illustration miraculously eluding any surface flaws over the past 107 years while revealing a super sharp perimeter. The final superlative is the verso's "Joe JACKSON – Cleveland" inscriptions that were clearly penned by none other than the iconic Conlon himself, a trademark of this magnificently gifted photographer; and the four black paper marks situated at each corner from a previous scrapbook mounting are rendered virtually irrelevant. To reiterate, while there are a number of superb Joe Jackson images in circulation, NONE of them could possibly compete with this grandeur offering for which only several examples exist. The undisputed finest Joe Jackson photo on the planet, it merits the highest hobby accolades, and while we would not expect the most enthusiastic collector to clear their property to build a "Field of Dreams", if you bid strong, this unfathomable "Shoeless Joe" Conlon image will come!
MIN BID $10,000