Shoeless Joe Jackson photograph to auction on February 21-22

The only known signed photograph of the legendary Chicago White Sox outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is to cross the block at Heritage Auctions.

The lot is one of many high profile pieces of sports memorabilia to feature in the February 21-22 Platinum Night sale in New York City. Bidding will open at $90,000.

Shoeless Joe signed
Shoeless Joe Jackson was illiterate, meaning few signatures exist

Heritage comments: "When the myriad factors of importance, rarity and condition are calculated, there is no hyperbole in the suggestion that this ranks among the most finest autographed items ever to enter the baseball collecting hobby.

"Certainly there is no reason to expect another Shoeless Joe signed photo will surface, and the odds that such a specimen might outshine the presented example are all but incalculable."

Jackson was famously illiterate, something he was sensitive about, and as a result very few signatures have ever surfaced. The fact he was expelled from the sport in the wake of a match fixing scandal at the height of his career further enhances the value of his memorabilia.

The photograph was part of the Frank W Smith collection. A book of signed baseball photographs will also auction from the collection, with an estimate of $20,000 up.  

Chris Ivy, director of sports auctions at Heritage, commented: "This previously unknown autograph collection stands out for its significance, rarity and remarkable state of preservation.

"The Frank W. Smith Collection is one of the most exciting 'time capsules' of the early 20th century game ever to surface in the collecting hobby."

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