A cut signature from the legendary Chicago White Sox outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson sold for $41,825 in Heritage Auctions' August 1 sale of sports memorabilia in Dallas.
Autographs from Jackson are exceptionally rare as he was illiterate and took great pains to avoid signing his name whenever possible. His wife signed the vast majority of autographs on the market.
Heritage commented: "Here Jackson attempted to buck that trend, practicing his signature on the back of a mailing envelope in hopes of personally answering a young fan's autograph request received in the post.
"A recent owner of the envelope from which this cut signature was clipped was able to find that early 1950's collector decades later, learning that he had ultimately received a secretarial example from Jackson's wife, as was the standard satisfaction of those through-the-mail requests."
Jackson (1887-1951) was born into a poor family of sharecroppers in South Carolina. He spent his childhood working in a local mill, which happened to have a baseball team.
He proved a natural and advanced swiftly into the major leagues; however, he was caught up in a match fixing scandal in 1919 and banned from the league.
He spent the rest of his life fighting to clear his name and many now believe him to have been innocent.
In 2001 Jackson's legendary bat, nicknamed Black Betsy, sold for a world record $577,610.
Other lots in the sale included the gloves Muhammad Ali wore in his legendary 1971 bout against Joe Frazier.
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