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    1925-28 "Shoeless Joe" Jackson Game Used Barnstorming Bat, PSA/DNA GU 6.5. Ty Cobb himself called Shoeless Joe "the finest natural hitter in the history of the game," and the great Babe Ruth echoed this sentiment, stating that "he's the guy that made me a hitter." Despite this highest of praise, the harsh ruling of Judge Landis was a weight that Jackson carried for the rest of his days, and he still does, perhaps forever locked out of the gates of Cooperstown.

    Of course Joe Jackson's baseball career didn't end entirely as a result of the scandal, though the venues showcasing his remarkable talents changed from 40,000 seat stadiums to weed-choked sandlots in towns with forgotten names. The fame and the money now gone, Jackson would continue appearing on the barnstorming circuit for twenty years, until the age of fifty, which would suggest that he really did play for the love of the game, and that the lure of easy money did not overshadow his competitive spirit that dark October. "God knows I gave my best in baseball at all times," Jackson is quoted as saying, "and no man on earth can truthfully judge me otherwise."

    Presented is a remarkable artifact dating from the years of Jackson's excommunication from organized ball, his unmistakable J13 signature model Hillerich & Bradsby featuring a handle nearly as thick as the barrel. Before Landis imposed the death penalty on the careers of the Eight Men Out, a full "Joe Jackson" signature was burnt into the barrels of his gamers, its absence here representing the company's discomfort with placing its name beside that of an outlaw. All post-ban Jackson bats issued by H&B are surname only.

    The ultra-thick handles of Jackson's bats allowed him to use them for extended periods of time, and this one clearly saw thousands of swings before that hefty handle finally succumbed. Small nails repair that handle crack, and we see evidence of old tape beneath the current criss-cross application which suggests it continued to see action even after suffering the wound. Ball marks abound, and semi-circular indentations on the barrel suggest it was smacked against something of that shape, perhaps an angry dugout response to a strikeout. A carved "AN" in the knob and "X" on the barrel end are of unknown origin or meaning.

    The lot title's date was determined by the particular center brand format, and the thirty-six inch (36") length and forty-plus ounce (41.6 oz.) weight are consistent with Jackson's preferences. Heritage famously sold Jackson's 1911 rookie bat for $956,000 in our February 2014 Platinum Night auction. LOA from PSA/DNA, GU 6.5.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2020
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 584

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