Considered by many hobbyists to be Joe Jackson's official rookie, this card resided in one of the most popular pre-war candy sets of all time. While this set is filled with the great
players of the era like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner, and some great rarities like the Mike Mitchell short print, this first issue of is far and away the most desirable card in the set. Packaged with hard caramel candy treats, these cards vary slightly in size but normally fall into the 1½" by 2¾" size range. Even though the backs of the cards claim to be
one of 100 subjects, there are well over 100 known cards in the set. On August 25, 1908, Joe Jackson made his debut for the Philadelphia Athletics and he got off to a relatively slow start. A few years later, Jackson was considered one of the great hitters in the game. Jackson
received his nickname (Shoeless) long before he made his professional debut. While working for a textile mill as a teenager, Jackson played for the mill's baseball team. Jackson removed his cleats after suffering a painful blister during a game. He proceeded to the plate without his shoes. While on base, hecklers started mocking him for not wearing them. The nickname stuck and the rest is history. This card, simple in design with Jackson leaning on his trusty bat against a purple backdrop, is one of only a handful of Jackson cards available. It is clearly his most valuable.
Joseph Jefferson “Shoeless Joe” Jackson (1887-1951) 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. Jackson’s case over removal from the ineligible list of currently “under review.”