Shoeless Joe autograph could fetch $100,000

Shoeless Joe Autograph Could Fetch $100K
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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"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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