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1909 W601 Sporting Life Philadelphia Athletics Team Composite with Joe Jackson!
Starting Bid - $500, Sold For - $1,920
This exceptionally attractive 1909 Philadelphia Athletics W601 Sporting Life team composite is not only exceedingly rare (we personally have never seen another example) but historically significant as well because it includes "Shoeless Joe" Jackson. Like Jackson's inclusion in the 1909 E90-1 caramel-card set, his appearance here on this team composite is equally remarkable given that he only played in five games for the A's in 1909 as a late season call-up. Jackson made his major league debut with the A's in 1908 in similar fashion, appearing in just five games after his contract was purchased from the Greenville Spinners late in the year. Jackson, who was from the South and illiterate, never fit in with his more sophisticated teammates and actually jumped the team in 1908 because he was homesick. Manager Connie Mack eventually realized that Jackson, talented as he was, had no future in Philadelphia, and he traded him after the 1909 season to Cleveland, where Jackson eventually blossomed into one of the game's greatest hitters.
These Sporting Life team composites, printed on heavy enamel paper and issued by the Sporting Life newspaper, were available to fans either by individual purchase (for ten cents) or as a complete set in a bound volume. Being a larger-format issue, the W601 Sporting Life team composite is not defined as a traditional card by most collectors, but we think all would agree this is the earliest promotional issue featuring Joe Jackson as a major leaguer! Jackson, who was only twenty-two years old at the time, appears in the lower right corner of the composite and, like all of the other players, is identified in print below his image. Included among the remaining twenty-two team members are Connie Mack, Eddie Collins, Frank Baker, Eddie Plank, Chief Bender, Jack Barry, Stuffy McInnis, and Rube Oldring.
The offered composite has been matted and framed and its visible measurements are 10.5 x 11.5 inches, which is smaller than the their standard measurement of 13 x 14 inches. However, since it has not been examined out of frame, we do not know if it has been trimmed. The only visible condition flaws are two light stains: one just to the right of Connie Mack's portrait image, which affects the portrait image of Frank Baker, and another along the right border. Aside from that, the piece is in apparent Excellent condition overall. An extremely impressive display piece, highlighted by one of the earliest images of Jackson in a major league uniform. Reserve $500. Estimate (open). SOLD FOR $1,920
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