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    Circa 1919 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson & Buck Weaver Signed Baseball. Forever linked by the greatest scandal in baseball history, and the true possibility that each was actually innocent, Jackson and Weaver formed one quarter of the notorious "Eight Men Out" that conspired to deliver a 1919 World Series victory to gamblers supporting the Cincinnati Reds at the expense of their own Chicago White Sox club. The first and third of the banished Black Sox to pass away, Jackson and Weaver are likewise the most inaccessible autographs of the group. Jackson's functional illiteracy, born of an early childhood spent in a South Carolina textile mill rather than in a schoolroom, exacerbates perhaps the most challenging problem in the hobby for serious autograph collectors, with just a small handful of authentic signatures known to exist.

    Despite the fact that both the famous center fielder and his teammate at third base actually improved upon their regular season batting averages during the tainted Fall Classic, while committing not a single fielding error between them, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis assured a life of infamy for the pair after their 1920 courtroom acquittal by ruling that "Regardless of the verdict of juries, no player who throws a ball game, no player who undertakes or promises to throw a ball game, no player who sits in confidence with a bunch of crooked ballplayers and gamblers, where the ways and means of throwing a game are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball."

    The offered Official American League baseball, precise in its stamping to those used during that fateful 1919 season, is one of just a tiny handful known to feature the autographs of Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver. Each signature retains remarkable boldness after nine sad decades of existence, with only light surface wear making minor incursions into the powerful ballpoint offerings. An included letter of provenance derives from the grandson of a former Cleveland, Ohio detective who provided security at the Indians' Municipal Stadium, where the ball was signed during a Chicago road trip. Auction LOA from James Spence Authentication.

    Guide Value or Estimate: $75,000 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2009
    23rd-24th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 10,577

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