A posed photograph of Shoeless Joe Jackson, taken by George Grantham Bain is among more than 600 images in the newly-launched RMY Auctions Spring Collectors Auction.
Taken in 1913, the photo shows Jackson in his third year with the Cleveland Naps. Measuring 3 x 4 3/4″, the silver gelatin image carries Bain’s stamp on the back and a March 1914 file date. Bidding opened at $25 but quickly soared past $1,000 in the first 12 hours of bidding. Original photos from the first few years of Jackson’s career are hard to find. RMY’s catalog description calls the image “the most beautiful photograph of a youthful ‘Shoeless Joe’ ever offered for public sale.”
The photo shows Jackson at age 25 looking directly into the camera. His uniform pants are pulled up high and a well-worn belt is buckled at the side of his pants. The word “Cleveland” stretches across the front of his jersey. His last name is at the top and the left corner has been clipped.
The location of the photo isn’t known.
Jackson batted .408 in his 1911 rookie season, a record that still stands. He followed that with a .395 average in 2012 and hit .373 the year the photo was taken. Seven years later, his career would end in the wake of the Black Sox scandal.
The auction will continue through April 6 at RMYAuctions.com.