Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baseball Card Mystery - 1940 Play Ball Joe Jackson

In 1920, Joe Jackson was banned from Major League Baseball for fixing the 1919 World Series. He appeared on cards at this time and prior to the banning. However, in 1940 he appears the Play Ball baseball card set. The question that I ask is if he was banned from the game, why was he allowed to appear in a set with current major league players (such as Joe Dimaggio and Ted Williams). The 1940 set did include some retired players but why did they pick Joe.

I know today that Joe appears in some unlicensed Upper Deck and Donruss sets. He also appeared in Renata Galasso sets from the late 1970s and Pacific trading card sets from the late 1980s. But the fundamental question to ask is if he was banned from baseball why was PlayBall allowed to include him in their set. I did notice that the front of the card obscures any indication that the photo was taken of him as a White Sox or Indian. The back of the card mentions that he stopped playing with the White Sox after 1920 but does not give a reason why. The mystery remains......

1 comment:

  1. My guess without looking at the back of the card, is that this card is not licensed by MLB, especially considering the lack of any logo marking on the front. If the licensing copywrite does appear on the back, my best guess would be that the licensing arm of the MLB may not have been that effective and/or only covers active players, thereby allowing a card company to add retired players as long as they have secured that player's rights to use of his image.