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1916 Zeenut PCL Jimmy Claxton
Starting Bid - $1,000, Sold For - $4,444
Graded POOR 10 by SGC. Pitcher Jimmy Claxton's color robbed him of a career as a professional ballplayer, but he was immortalized on this Zeenut Candy card issued in 1916. This card is of great historical significance as it is the very first American-issued baseball card featuring a black ballplayer. Claxton was Canadian born, and of African-American and Indian descent. For a single brief week in 1916 he joined the roster of the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League, but complaints by both fans and players resulted in his quick release. By chance, the week Claxton was with the Oaks was also the very week the Zeenut photographer stopped by for pictures, resulting in the issuing of this extremely rare and important card. This is an attractive example with a light diagonal crease through Claxton's legs and light, even rounding to the corners. The reverse features nine lines of text in bold green ink which read "Jimmy Claxton/Colored pitcher/who spent half a/season with Oaks/before it was found/out he was not an/Indian. Played base/ball around Oak-/land later". Technically in low grade but still a very attractive example and extremely desirable in any condition. Reserve $1,000. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $4,444
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