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Lot # 705 (of 1389)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1938 Joe Jackson Letter (Written by His Wife) - Joe Contemplates a Return to the Diamond!

Starting Bid - $200, Sold For - $480

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 personally dictated by Joe. In this remarkable letter, Jackson outlines the terms under which he would agree to return to the diamond to play ball with an unidentified team. The letter, dated March 22, 1938, from "Greenville, SC," and addressed to a "Mr. R. P. Sewartt" of Pennington Gap, Virginia, reads in full:

Dear Mr. Stewart, Keep in touch with me if your league opens. And if you can pay 250.00 a month and all expenses I Would Be interested in coming up myself as a vacation from Business would do me good. With Best of Luck, Joe Jackson."

Both the text and signature have been scripted in blue ink and grade "9/10." Mr. R. P. (Perle) Stewart was a prominent local Pennington Gap businessman and ardent baseball fan. According to an article in the October 11, 1942 issue of the Powell Valley News, Stewart, in 1939, donated a large photo collection to the baseball Hall of Fame that included team photos of every club that had won the World Series up until that time. More important, the article goes on to document Stewart's success in reorganizing the Class D Appalachian League in 1937 and in building Leeman Field, which at the time was the largest enclosed baseball field in the world. Leeman Field was home to both the Pennington Lee Bears and Pennington Minors of the Appalachian League. Based upon the content of this letter, Stewart was obviously trying to lure Joe Jackson out of retirement to play ball with the local Pennington entry of the Appalachian League. If Jackson had done so (we have no record that he did), he would have had to have played under an alias, as his lifetime ban from baseball prohibited him from playing in organized ball, at any level. However, just the fact that Jackson was still interested in playing ball, at the age of 50 no less, shows that his love for the game never waned.

This is certainly one of the most interesting Joe Jackson post-banishment letters 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 desire to once again play baseball. The letter (8.5 x 11 inches) displays one vertical and two horizontal mailing folds, as well as a few small edge tears and minor stains. It has been affixed to a paper backing, which in turn has been affixed to a cardboard mount. In Very Good condition overall. Full LOA from PSA/DNA and LOA from James Spence/JSA.
SOLD FOR $480


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