A 1910 baseball card of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was sold for $492,000 in an online auction on Thursday, according to Gabriel Fernandez of CBS Sport.
The card belonged to Ben Foster, who found an old card collection that was given to his father when he was a child. Foster found the collection in 2009 in his father’s office. It wasn’t until 2019 that Foster looked through the collection and researched the cards that were inside.
Many of the cards in the collection were from the early 20th century. Some were even from the T206 collection, which are among the most valuable cards. The most famous example is the Honus Wagner T206, which sold in 2013 for over $2.1 million.
The Foster family wasn’t even aware the Jackson card was in the collection, since the card featured Jackson playing in the minor leagues in New Orleans. Eventually, they realized the commodity they had, and entered it into the auction.
Jackson’s legacy is among the most well-known in baseball lore. He’s best known as being a member of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, in which the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Though Jackson’s participation in the scandal has been disputed, he, along with seven other players connected, were banned from baseball for life by commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis.
Due to the combination of the scandal and Jackson’s stellar play (he was a .356 career hitter), Shoeless Joe memorabilia has consistently been a top seller among baseball collectors. An autographed baseball sold for $78,000 back in 2011, while a signed game bat fetched $583,500 in 2016.