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1949 Joe Jackson Signed Index Card Letter (Mrs. Joe Jackson) with Phenomenal Baseball Content
Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $1,410
While it is a known fact that Joe Jackson's wife and/or sister normally responded to all of the autograph requests he received during his post-banishment years, rarely did they take the time to write anything other than a very brief salutation and his name. The offered piece is a fascinating exception and given its extraordinary content, it is virtually certain that the content of this letter was dictated by Joe. Here, on this lined index card, "Shoeless Joe" reveals his true feelings regarding the "injustice" he received at the hands of commissioner Landis nearly thirty years earlier. The handwritten letter, dated "Greenville, S.C./9-27-49" and scripted in blue ink, reads "Dear Fan. Appreciate your letter. Thanks for the kind words. I may not be in the Hall of Fame but the [sic] cant [sic] take away my record altho [sic] they did take one hit that series. Yours in sport. Joe Jackson." Of the few Joe Jackson post-retirement letters that have surfaced today, most of which are on lined index cards or similar size blank sheets, all are generally brief and courteous, simply conveying the standard "best wishes" and Jackson's name (they were normally sent in response to autograph requests). This is the most remarkable example we have ever seen in that Jackson actually vents here, telling the writer that he doesn't care about the official sanctions against him; he knows he was one of the greatest hitters ever to play the game and his numbers will always back up that claim. Despite being accused of "throwing" the 1919 World Series, Jackson led all starting players in the series with a .375 average, but as he mentions here in this letter, it should have been higher. In an exclusive interview with Furman Bisher that appeared in the October 1949 issue of Sport Magazine (the only interview Jackson ever granted after he was banished from baseball) Jackson spoke of that hit they took from him "I went out and played my heart out against Cincinnati. I set a record that stills stands for the most hits in a Series, though it has been tied, I think. I made 13 hits, but after all the trouble came out they took one away from me. Maurice Rath went over in the hole and knocked down a hot grounder, but he couldn't make a throw on it. They scored it a hit then, but changed it later." The offered Jackson letter was written just after that historic interview with Bisher and the sentiments that Jackson expressed in that article, in which he proclaims his innocence in the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal, are mirrored here in this significant missive. This is the most interesting Joe Jackson post-banishment letter we have ever seen and the fact that it is rendered entirely in his wife's hand does not diminish the importance of the content, for the words are those of Jackson himself and reflect his final rebuttal to his critics. The index card (5 x 3 inches) displays paper residue on the reverse resulting from its once having been mounted, and then removed, from an album. All of the text, including the signature, is boldly scripted in the hand of Mrs. Joe Jackson and grades "10." In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $200. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,410
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