Long before his career came to a crashing halt in the wake of the Black Sox scandal, Joe Jackson was a budding superstar.
After the Philadelphia Athletics traded him for Bris Lord in 1910, Jackson spent much of the year with New Orleans in the Southern Association. He led the league in hitting as the Pelicans won the pennant, then was called up to Cleveland late in the year and hit .387 in 20 games. That was enough to earn him a full-time role with the Naps and his .408 average in 1911 is still a rookie record. After finishing second to Ty Cobb in hitting, Jackson won the 1912 American League batting championship and led the league in hits, triples and total bases.
Like his baseball cards, early Jackson photos are rare and in great demand. The RMY Auctions Photo of the Day is an unusual shot of Jackson dating to the first part of his career. It’s a fresh-to-the-hobby silver gelatin image that spent much of its life stored in archives of the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper archive but is now among the highlights of the company’s November Premier Auction.
Jackson is shown bowing to the photographer (maybe to illustrate his hitting prowess?). The answer may be on the back of the photo but it’s mounted on manila paper to help it hold up in the process of newspaper production and RMY has opted to leave it in its original state, with his name written out in hand below the image. Thhtte photo itself measures 2 ¾” x 6”.
Bidding continues through November 10 at RMYAuctions.com.