1914 Cracker Jack #103 Joe Jackson PSA 4 VG-EX
Offered here is one of the most revered baseball cards extant, the highly coveted 1914 Cracker Jack Joe Jackson in an outstanding PSA VG/EX 4 holder! One of only 4 such examples, it has been bested by a meager 9 specimens, justifying the ultra-condition sensitivity of "Shoeless Joe's" 1914 Cracker Jack subject (or any '14 CJ for that matter). Whether it is his "Shoeless" or "Black Sox" legacy, every avid enthusiast yearns to own a Joe Jackson card from his playing days. Jackson's sudden departure from the game after the 1920 season limited the number of Jackson cards in the market. Save his E90-1 rookie card, most would agree that his most desirable issue is Jackson's exalted 1914 Cracker Jack subject. While Cracker Jack baseball cards were inserted in the caramel boxes in both 1914 and 1915, what makes aesthetically pleasing 1914 issues so tough (as opposed to 1915 issues) was that the 1915 cards could be obtained as a set via mail order. The only opportunity for collecting the 1914 version was to pull them from the Cracker Jack box, resulting in serious caramel staining on many of these existing subjects.
Furthermore, the 1914 issue is the inaugural Cracker Jack issue, with most of the 1915 players mirroring the exact image used for the 1914 set. Joe Jackson's legacy began way before he played 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 rounded third base after hitting a long home run, one fan finally noticed and shouted "you shoeless sonofagun"! A sportswriter picked up on this, printed it the next day, and the "Shoeless" Joe legend was officially born. After entering the Major Leagues, Jackson's hitting dominance continued to emerge for both the Cleveland and Chicago American clubs to the tune of a .356 lifetime average. Unfortunately, this run was tragically cut short when Jackson was banned from baseball forever for, allegedly, taking part in throwing the 1919 World Series. In lieu of this, Jackson was never placed in the HOF; however, due to the "Black Sox" scandal, his popularity has increased profoundly. His remarkable hitting prowess is depicted in a classic Jackson batting image as "Shoeless Joe" follows through after hitting another scalding line drive with his famous Black Betsy.
The swinging pose literally jumps off the surface, portraying near-perfect contrast and hues, set against a "fire engine" red background. Positioned slightly towards the right edge, the obverse surface has eluded any serious flaws, with the only evidence of modest caramel corn staining situated along the lower edge. The technical assessment is primarily due to even corner wear and some additional mild staining on the less prevalent verso, and one could argue the VG/EX grade merited "at least" a half-point bump. One of the finest mid-grade Jackson examples you will ever come across, its imposing central image and fine centering "steal the show". It is no secret that the pricing points for 1914 Cracker Jack Jackson's have soared to new heights, with an SGC 2.5 and PSA 3.5 examples fetching $63K and $67K, respectively, in April 2020. Therefore, we will let you ultimately decide the true value of this sparkling PSA 4 offering, and while we would not expect the most passionate hobbyists to clear their property to build a "Field of Dreams", if you bid strong this magnificent 1914 Joe Jackson Cracker Jack will come!
MIN BID $25,000