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    "Did you make any written confession..."

    1923 Letter to "Shoeless Joe" Jackson from His Lawyer Regarding 1919 World Series Scandal. The legendary outfielder was eyeing his third season of banishment from the game he loved as his lawyer sent this typed letter to Jackson's Savannah, Georgia, a message brimming with unfounded optimism. The extent of Jackson's participation in the most notorious scandal in the history of our National Pastime remains a point of debate despite his apocryphal acknowledgment of guilt to a child who plead "Say it ain't so, Joe" on the steps of the Cook County courthouse. Late in his life, Jackson appeared to contradict the tale, telling a reporter, "God knows I gave my best in baseball at all times and no man on earth can truthfully judge me otherwise."

    Like most ancient mysteries, the elusiveness of a definitive truth has only heightened the intrigue, with collectors and historians still transfixed nearly a century after Eddie Cicotte crossed the Rubicon with his beanball signal. Rarely are relics directly related to the Black Sox scandal made available to the collecting community, and we're pleased to present just such a piece here. The typed and signed letter to Jackson from his Milwaukee lawyer Raymond J. Cannon reads as follows:


    Dear Sir:

    I am in receipt of your letter, and the facts given by you as to how you come to sign the contract, makes a very good case, and one that we will not lose. Did you make any written confession or any confession at any time, that you had anything to do with the 1919 World Series scandal?

    I am going to examine Comiskey and Graebner (sic) before the Court Commissioner in Chicago, within the next week, and I may want you to be there at that time. I will let you know in advance, and as far as expenses are concerned, I will advance them for you.

    We have a wonderful jury here now, and I just won my twenty-first jury case in the last forty-two days, so we will have no trouble at all with your case.

    I want to trim Comiskey, if it is the last thing I do, and I am sure we will be able to do it without any troubles.

    Let me hear from you immediately.

    Very truly yours,

    [signed] RJ Cannon.


    The standard (8.5x11") letter presents wonderfully with original mailing folds but no other condition caveats, and is professionally matted and framed beside a large modern photographic print of Jackson in 1919 White Sox uniform to full dimensions of 26x31". Included is a well-worn but complete original mailing envelope. A historic and heartbreaking memento of one of an event that Connie Mack once called, "one of the real tragedies of baseball."




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    Auction Dates
    August, 2013
    1st-2nd Thursday-Friday
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