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1918 "Shoeless Joe" Jackson "Feet Study with Shoes" Original News Photo - PSA/DNA Type 1
Starting Bid - $1,000.00, Sold For - $1,185.00
When your nickname is "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, your footwear does lend itself to a bit more scrutiny than that of your teammates or other players. Perhaps that is why in 1918 Joe Jackson was the subject of a "hands and feet" photographic study. Offered here is one-half of that study: Joe Jackson's feet. As one can clearly see, Jackson did not go "shoeless" on the ball field during his years with the White Sox. In addition to his cleats, the photo also includes a close up image of Jackson's plain white socks (hence the club's name of "White Sox") and a portion of his uniform pants. As noted by the editorial pencil notations on the reverse, this photo represents just half of the photo study: "Joe Jackson/Chicago Am/BB hands & feet." Also located on the reverse are a credit stamp ("Reference Dept. - N. E. A.") and date stamp ("Aug 12 1918"). (N. E. A. stands for Newspaper Enterprise Association, which was one of the nation's first news syndicates.) While we do not know when this photo was taken, it must have been early in the year, and certainly not on August 12th. Jackson only played with Chicago during the first month of the season in 1918, appearing in just seventeen games before leaving the White Sox and taking draft-exempt employment at the Bethlehem Steel shipyards near Wilmington, Delaware. At the time, Jackson was highly criticized for his actions, with White Sox owner Charles Comiskey among the most vocal. After Jackson left, Comiskey fumed, "There is no room on my club for players who wish to evade the army draft by entering the employ of shipbuilders." Of course, as soon as the war ended, Comiskey took Jackson back with open arms and all was forgiven (lifetime .356 hitters normally receive special treatment from the club). This is one of a small selection of extraordinary Type I photos from the Acme Newspictures photo archive consigned to this auction. Valuing original photos (especially extreme rarities that are unique or nearly unique) is naturally subjective, but these never-before-offered photographs really are "the best of the best." All are offered with nominal reserves and the auction process (as always at REA) will determine the proper value level. Of all of the vintage photos we have ever encountered during the past 40+ years, we can't help but think of this Joe Jackson feet study as one of the most noteworthy and memorable. It is, after all, not just a Joe Jackson "feet study"; it is a study of "Shoeless Joe" Jackson's shoes. We have seen a few important batting-grip photographic studies of different players over the years. We have seen a few noteworthy eye studies of important players over the years. We have seen a few exceptional pitcher hand-grip studies holding balls over the years. All are extremely desirable and highly valued by collectors in the baseball and general photograph collecting fields. But to have a foot study of one player: Joe Jackson would be our choice. This is an incredible Joe Jackson photo with a story! Needless to say, this is an extremely rare Joe Jackson photo and we cannot recall having ever seen another foot study of "Shoeless Joe" (or any other player for that matter). The photo (7 x 10.25 inches) displays a few minor surface wrinkles throughout. In Very Good to Excellent condition overall. Reserve $1,000. Estimate $2,500++. SOLD FOR $1,185.00
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