Superb 1916 M101-5 #86 Joe Jackson Blank Back SGC 5 EX - Only 2 SGC Examples Graded Higher!
The 1919 Black Sox scandal has solidified Joe Jackson's unparalleled legacy for eternity, yet there is so much more to this baseball giant. His batting excellence evident by his .356 lifetime average, the "Shoeless Joe" nickname achieved when he played without shoes due to painful blisters, his renowned "Black Betsy" bat covered in tobacco juice, the classic "Say it Ain't So Joe" phrase blurted out by an admiring youngster as Jackson left the courtroom, and the highly celebrated "Field of Dreams" movie are all sound testaments to his immortal standing. Due to his banishment from baseball for allegedly gambling on the 1919 World Series against the Reds, there are very few mainstream card issues of the iconic Jackson. One of the few Jackson cards issued during his playing days is his renowned M101-5 subject distributed in early 1916 by the Chicago based Felix Mendelsohn publishing company. While the Babe Ruth and Jim Thorpe rookies continue to be the set's most valuable cards, standing virtually right alongside these momentous subjects is the Joe Jackson #86 blank back subject, presented here in a stellar SGC 5 EX holder. Recently graded by SGC, it resides as one of a meager five SGC examples at this mid-grade tier, and of the 11 total SGC encapsulated specimens, only two copies have been graded higher!
Joe Jackson's remarkable hitting prowess was established long before his 1916 M101-5 subject was nationally distributed. After joining 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 uneventful seasons in Philadelphia. Once called up from the minor leagues in 1910, Jackson finally unleashed 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 and uncanny averages of .408, ,395 and .373 respectively. After playing in 83 games with Cleveland in the 1915 campaign, Jackson was shockingly traded to the Chicago White Sox where he finished the year with a .308 batting mark. In his first full 1916 season in the "Windy City, "Shoeless Joe" would not disappoint his ardent Chicago fans, posting a sensational .342 average. Unfortunately for Jackson, 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.
This offering's overall aesthetics are absolutely superb, starting with the classic Jackson follow through swinging pose (also utilized on his exalted Cracker Jack subject) depicting fine contrast and definitive focus as he connects on what is most likely another blistering line drive. The legendary image somewhat favors the left edge, and had it not been for a faint factory-issued vertical print line running through the center of the card, it might have achieved a higher assessment. Mild corner wear emulating an eye pleasing uniformity and relatively clean surfaces complete this timeless masterpiece that continues to realize rising pricing points, clearly indicating Jackson's M101-5 is quietly narrowing the value gap with his E90-1 Rookie and 1914-15 Cracker Jack issues. Yet, equally if not more significant to the pure enthusiast is the sheer joy of capturing a super eye pleasing Joe Jackson Chicago White Sox card issued during his peak playing days!
MIN BID $3,000