The new Federal League came calling for rising star Joe Jackson prior to the 1914 season, but Cleveland fans didn’t have to worry. Shoeless Joe wasn’t going anywhere…at least not for several months.
The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day shows the baseball icon during his last full season in Ohio, a newly discovered image that sat in an archive for roughly 100 years. It’s among more than 1,200 images up for bid through June 21.
The silver gelatin photo measures 7 ¾” x 9” and suffers only from some editing work done a century ago at the newspaper where it was stored. Auction officials believe it’s the first time this particular image has ever been seen or published in any form. It shows Jackson in full uniform, stretching to snare a ball in an impossibly small glove with a determined look on his face. Jackson spent about a quarter of that 1914 season on the bench after suffering a broken bone in his leg. Still, he managed to hit .338.
The NEA photo carries a hand written caption on the back: “Joe Jackson On First” and while he saw no action there in 1914, he would play the position numerous times with the Sox in 1915.
While the image dates from 1914, it carries two dates on the back, one of which is August 3, 1915 when rumors of a possible Jackson trade began to heat up. Ownership, fearing Jackson would take advantage of the large contracts being offered by the Federal League, would trade him to Chicago later that summer. Four seasons later, with the Federal League long gone, unhappy White Sox players decided to conspire with gamblers and throw the World Series, dragging Jackson down with them.
For more information or to register and bid in the auction, visit RMYAuctions.com.