Shoeless Joe autograph could fetch $100,000

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Shoeless Joe Autograph Could Fetch $100K

WYFF -- Shoeless Joe Jackson's autograph has been called the Holy Grail of baseball signatures.

Now perhaps the rarest example of the famed ballplayer's autograph has come up for auction and could fetch $100,000 later this month in New York City.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions says it's the first signed photo of Jackson that has been authenticated by autograph experts.

Jackson is remembered for being banned from baseball after being accused of throwing the 1919 World Series and later depicted in the movies "Field of Dreams" and "Eight Men Out."

The century-old photo comes from a scrapbook that was in the hands of a Cleveland family and stored in a barn until recent years.

The ballplayer's autograph is among the scarcest in sports because he barely knew how to write his name and mostly signed paychecks and legal documents.

His great-great-great nephew, Joe Jackson, said all of his signatures varied slightly.

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Shoeless Joe autograph could fetch $100,000
In this Jan. 22, 2015, photo, an autographed picture of Cleveland ball player Joe Jackson is shown at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Sharon Bowen thought her late husband was a bit crazy for buying a scrapbook with a bunch of black and white photos of Cleveland ballplayers from the early 1900s, but not anymore. It turns out that scrapbook held what may be the only autographed photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
American baseball players (from left) Ty Cobb (1886 - 1961) and 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson (1887 - 1951). Cobb was known as 'the Georgia Peach' and still holds the record lifetime batting average of .367. Jackson was banned from the sport in 1921 for his part in the 'Black Sox' scandal when he and seven of his teammates were accused of throwing the world series, causing a young boy to approach him after the trial and plead 'say it ain't so, Joe' (Photo by MPI/Getty Images)
Aug 18, 2005; Chicago, IL, USA; (File Photo: Date Unknown) Pictured: Joe Jackson when he played for the Cleveland Indians. 'Shoeless'Joe Jackson and seven of his Chicago White Sox teammates were implicated in fixing the 1919 World Series and letting the Cincinnati Reds win. Jackson had a .375 in the series, 12 hits, no errors and hit the lone home run for the White Sox. The eight players were banned from baseball for life by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis. 'Shoeless Joe' died on 12/5/1951 just 10 days before he was scheduled to appear on Ed Sullivan's 'Talk of the Town: in an effort to clear his name. (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)
In this Jan. 22, 2015, photo, autographed photos of Cleveland ballplayers Joe Jackson, left, Nap Lajoie, right, and Christy Mathewson, top, are displayed at Heritage Auctions in Dallas. Sharon Bowen thought her late husband was a bit crazy for buying a scrapbook with a bunch of black and white photos of Cleveland ballplayers from the early 1900s, but not anymore. It turns out that scrapbook held what may be the only autographed photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
1919, Portrait of American baseball player 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson (1889 - 1951) wearing his Chicago White Sox hat. (Photo by APA/Getty Images)
Aug 18, 2005; Chicago, IL, USA; (File Photo: Date Unknown) 'Shoeless'Joe Jackson and seven of his Chicago White Sox teammates were implicated in fixing the 1919 World Series and letting the Cincinnati Reds win. Jackson had a .375 in the series, 12 hits, no errors and hit the lone home run for the White Sox. The eight players were banned from baseball for life by Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis. 'Shoeless Joe' died on 12/5/1951 just 10 days before he was scheduled to appear on Ed Sullivan's 'Talk of the Town: in an effort to clear his name. (Photo by Sporting News/Sporting News via Getty Images)
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson is shown at Tampa, Fla., July 1, 1935. Jackson, who was a prominent figure in the 1919 White Sox World Series scandal, now owns businesses in Savannah, Ga., and Greenville, S.C. He was considered by many to have been one of the greatest natural hitters of all time. (AP Photo)
Photo Credit: WYFF
Photo Credit: WYFF
Photo Credit: WYFF
Photo Credit: WYFF
Photo Credit: WYFF
Joe Jackson's baseball card in this Cracker Jack candy set was produced in Chicago Illinoi, circa 1913. (Photo by Transcendental Graphics/Getty Images)
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"He could write his name out but it would take him 10 minutes or so to do it. That's why it's so hard to authenticate his stuff because nothing was the same," Jackson said. "Anytime a Joe Jackson signature pops up, everybody wants it, everybody wants to see it. It's just really cool to find stuff from his era because they didn't have baseball cards and stuff like that."

Jackson said he is proud of his family's legacy and how Greenville has kept his great-great-great uncle's history prominent downtown.

"People of Greenville have been really great to the family, everything from the statue of Joe downtown to just keeping Joe's spirit alive downtown," Jackson said. "The spirit of him has stayed alive and its really awesome. I love when people come ask me about it and all that. I enjoy talking to them about it."

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