DescriptionThe Finest "Shoeless Joe" Jackson Signed Baseball on Earth. It was a story that sounded too good to be true when first reported to us by the son of Dick Bouknight, remembered in baseball history as the "King of Swat" of the Appalachian League before a tour of WWII duty interrupted what seemed a probable path to the Majors. Upon his return to the States, Bouknight resumed his baseball career as both a player and manager in the Tri-State League, which in those days included the Greenville Spinners, representatives of Shoeless Joe Jackson's South Carolina hometown.
While the younger Bouknight admits his father rarely spoke of his baseball days, he does recall being shown this ball as a boy, his pop expressing how he had approached Jackson for an autograph, and how slowly the functionally illiterate Black Sox conspirator worked the pen as he wrote.
Today Jackson's side panel autograph survives without a hint of its six decades of age, a perfect 10/10 rating not an overstatement of the facts. Directly opposite Jackson, in the same bold blue ink, we find contemporary legend Cy Young, whose autograph fills the full panel of this Official Tri-State League sphere. Three other signatures join this iconic pair in black ink, most notably Ben Paschal, who managed a North Carolina semi-pro team in the years following his service to the Murderer's Row era New York Yankees.
Even the most casual baseball autograph collector is well aware of just how rare is the autograph of the fabled Shoeless Joe. That rarity increases exponentially when narrowed to horsehide examples, and that fact should not be lost due to the appearance of two within this Signature auction. Lightning does occasionally strike twice, but you can rest assured it will never flash nearly so brightly as with the representation offered here. Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2018 November 15-16 Fall Sports Card Catalog Auction