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1909 Shibe Park Opening Day Program with Joe Jackson Rookie Photo!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $2,350
Extremely rare and very substantial 48-page souvenir program for the openind day of the Philadelphia Athletics Shibe Park. This is one of the all-time great early programs, with a quality on par wit that of any World Series program of the era. While we have seen this program offered at auction once or twice in the past thirty years, in each instance its greater significance was overlooked. Featured in this program are what may be the earliest published photos of Joe Jackson as a Major League player. Jackson is pictured on page forty-six posing in uniform with teammates Amos Strunk and Heinie Heitmuller, and again in the club's team photo on page forty-eight. Jackson only played with the Philadelphia A's for five games both in 1908 and 1909. Since his Major League debut occurred on August 25, 1908, at the tail end of the season, it seems highly unlikely that he would have been pictured in any of the club's programs published during the final month. The fact that he is even pictured here is amazing. Jackson had a hard time adjusting to city life, and Connie Mack opted to let him start the 1909 season with Augusta in the Class C South Atlantic League. Jackson stayed there for almost the entire season before Mack once again brought him back late in the season. By that time Mack had realized that Jackson just did not fit in with his urban teammates and the following season he traded him to Cleveland. The significance of the Jackson photos notwithstanding, this is an important early program. Produced to commemorate the opening of one of baseball's legendary stadiums, the program features a photo of the brand-new Shibe Park, which today is recognized as one of the great old stadiums of days gone by. The interior includes illustrations and essays regarding the history of the club, as well as information regarding the construction of the new stadium. The exceptional cover design, which also includes cameo portraits of B.F. Shibe and Connie Mack, makes this program ideal for display. The opening of Shibe Park was a major event. It is surprising that so few examples of this program exist, although the then steep price of 10 cents may be partly responsible. In over thirty years we have seen only three or four examples of this significant rarity, and the offered program ranks as one of the finest in terms of condition. The cover has bright, crisp colors. There is a thin, small area of light toning along the top of the front cover and all of the interior pages are clean and bright. In Excellent condition. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000/2,000. SOLD FOR $2,350
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