Much has been written about Joe Jackson’s virtual illiteracy. As a result, Jackson autographs are extremely rare. Even authentic examples have a very drawn appearance. You can tell that Jackson struggled to form the letters of his own name. Autographs that were signed during Jackson’s playing days are even harder to find than those signed after his banishment. His wife, Katie, signed for Joe most of the time after his career was over. Some of the less than two dozen authentic Jackson autographs known to exist appear on documents, while others are scrawled on a simple piece of paper. At the time of this writing, only one Jackson signed photo is known to exist. Regardless of the medium, all authentic Jackson autographs have tremendous value.
Jackson died in 1951 at the age of 63.
Joseph Jefferson "Shoeless Joe" Jackson (July 16, 1887 - December 5, 1951) earned his nickname as a young mill worker-turned baseball player after he played a game in his stocking feet due to blisters he developed from his cleats. Shoeless Joe stuck for the remainder of his life. Joe began his career playing with one mill team after the next; whoever would pay him more for his services. In 1908, Joe signed with the Philadelphia Athletics and spent much of his time from 1908-1909 back-and-forth from the minor, despite batting .358 in 118 games in the South Atlantic League. Jackson was moved to the Cleveland Naps where in his first full season he batted .408, setting a new rookie record and finishing second to Ty Cobb’s .420 average. Though he was successful in Cleveland, batting .375 over 6 seasons (1910-1915), the cash strapped club shipped him to the Chicago White Sox. Jackson found a home in Chicago he where again batted well above the .300 mark, posting a .356 over six seasons (1915-1920) with the Southsiders. Shoeless Joe helped the Sox take the 1917 World Series and the 1919 title amid scandalous accusations. Uneducated and somewhat vulnerable, Jackson got caught up in the Black Sox Scandal, where member of the White Sox accepted bribes from gamblers to throw the World Series. In 1920, despite being acquitted in court, new commissioner Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis banned the eight players baseball. Shoeless Joe Jackson retired with a career .356 batting average, adding 1,772 hits, 873 runs, 785 RBI and 202 stolen bases. Joe Jackson remains on the Major League Baseball ineligible list and cannot be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame until he has been removed.
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