Joe Jackson H&B signature-model (last name only) bat dating from the 1923-1925 manufacturing period. Graded GU 8 by PSA/DNA. It is well known that after Joe Jackson was officially banned from organized baseball following the 1920 season, he continued to play ball with local town or company teams (often using an alias) in order to eke out a living. His post-banishment career lasted well into the 1930s, when he often played and managed. This particular bat was used by Jackson just a few years after his banishment and is one of the earliest such Joe Jackson game bats we have ever seen. The bat displays evidence of excellent use, including numerous ball marks, checking (grain swelling) on the back barrel (repaired with seven vintage nails), cleat marks, and a wrap of black tape on the handle (approximately 12 inches in length). As noted in PSA/DNA's accompanying letter, it is not known if the tape is covering a crack, due to the thickness of the handle and the amount of tape applied, but no crack is visible. A number of small holes, in what appears to be in the shape of the letter "S," can be seen on the knob, the meaning of which is unknown.
PSA/DNA notes in its accompanying LOA that, although the bat bears predates H&B's practice of stamping model numbers on bats, it can be easily identified as Jackson's "J13" model, which is distinguished by its large handle, small knob, and bullet-shaped barrel. The dating of the bat was determined by an analysis of the center brand. As previously mentioned, it is not known if the tape was applied in repair of a crack, but PSA/DNA is of the opinion that the tape was applied to enhance the grip. Jackson was known to tape his bats and photos show him during barnstorming games in the 1930s using bats with taped handles. PSA/DNA concludes its letter by writing that "the bat is authentic as described and was used by Jackson while barnstorming during the referenced labeling period." As most collectors are aware, Joe Jackson game-used bats dating from his Major League career are not only exceedingly rare, but exorbitant in price. A bat such as this is the next best alternative (usually the only alternative for the average collector) to obtain a bat once used by the legendary "Shoeless Joe," albeit during his banishment days, when he would barnstorm around the country trying to earn a paycheck playing the game he loved so dearly. Length: 36 inches. Weight: 42.3 ounces. LOA from John Taube of PSA/DNA. Opening Bid $10,000. Estimate (open).