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By Peter J. Nash

November 1, 2013

Goldin Auctions said this rare card of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is the only one known, but veteran collectors disagree.

UPDATE: (Scroll to bottom for image of 2nd Jackson card)

The auction catalog description says it’s an SGC 20 “One of One” 1917-20 M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn Joe Jackson exhibit card graded Fair 1.5.  All of that information is totally accurate. It’s the only such card ever graded by SGC and auctioneer Ken Goldin says that PSA’s Joe Orlando verified that his company has never graded or encapsulated an example of the rarity.

The bid on the rare card at the Goldin Auctions website currently stands at $32,157.

But Goldin  isn’t just offering the rare card as the only known graded Mendelsohn of “Shoeless Joe.” Goldin’s auction house posted a tweet on Twitter last week stating it was the: “Rarest baseball card in the world, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson one of a kind.”   The tweet included a link to the online auction lot which further describes the Jackson card as being so rare that it “hasn’t been officially documented (or authenticated) until now.” Goldin also adds that collectors of this series claim “they have never even seen a photo of this card” and states unequivocally, “We have the first known example of this ultra-rare card of Joe Jackson, in an image never before seen…”

But it ain’t so.

When veteran collector Dennis Goldstein saw Goldin’s press release revealing the card back in September he was surprised to hear him claim the card was unique considering that he had owned another copy of the same card and sold it in a major auction at Lelands in November of 1994.  Josh Evans offered the card as part of “The Goldstein Collection”  and it appeared as lot 610 in the sale listed as an”M101-6 Sporting News Joe Jackson” card indicating its “clean corners” and “minor wear.”  The card’s provenance was attributed to veteran collector Tom Collier, one of the founders of TCMA.

Back in 1994, the M 101-6 Mendelsohn set was incorrectly identified as a “Sporting News” issue.  That being said, the Lelands listing establishes that at least one other rare Jackson card has been sold and was part of a prominent collection.  The card’s previous owner, Dennis Goldstein, is known to have one of the finest collections in the world and in the past has been a contributor to numerous research projects including the Ken Burns BASEBALL documentary on PBS.

Lelands' 1994 catalog featuring the Goldstein Collection included the sale of another copy of the M101-6 Joe Jackson card.

Hauls of Shame reached out to Goldin earlier this week and informed him that another card sold in 1994 and also told him of another M101-6 Jackson owned by another collector.  Goldin stated he had been contacted by Goldstein but said he did not provide him with a photograph of his card.  Goldin also told Hauls of Shame he called Mike Heffner of Lelands but he couldn’t recall the sale of the card.  Lelands Chairman Josh Evans was unavailable for comment.  Goldstein said he gave Goldin the sale date, lot number, description and sale price of his card but did not send him a scan of the actual Lelands catalog description.

After Ken Goldin was told about the Lelands sale of another Jackson Mendelson card he continued to promote it on Twitter and in the press as being the only known example.

Goldin, however, chose not amend his auction catalog description to include a mention of Goldstein’s copy of the card after promoting the card in the press and on Twitter as the only one known to exist.  Goldin even went as far as stating his auction would represent, “The first sale of a lost treasure from a historic player like Jackson.”

Despite his documented promotion of the card as the “world’s rarest,” Goldin responded to our inquiry on October 29, stating, “We are not saying it is the only one produced or that exists today.  We are saying it is the only authenticated and documented one.”  That was not what Goldin was saying in his description and on Twitter.  In addition, his card was also not the first “documented one.”

When Goldin was asked why he didn’t include the Lelands sale in his description he responded, “How do we even know that card was real if it wasn’t even graded by SGC or PSA?”  Then, after being called out for his failure to reveal the Lelands sale and the card’s solid provenance, Goldin agreed to amend the auction lot description to include the information about the existence of the card sold at Lelands.  On Tuesday evening, Goldin updated his lot description to read:

“After publication of our feature catalog, and subsequent press releases, we were informed an M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn Joe Jackson card was listed in an auction catalog nearly 20 years ago. However, as of Wednesday, October 30, 2013, we have yet to be provided with any evidence including any image of said card. Goldin Auctions researched this card and issue extensively, and found several long-time M101-6 collectors who had yet to even see an image of this card until this offering. In addition, the two most prestigious third-party grading services, SGC and PSA, have yet to authenticate or even see any other M101-6 Joe Jackson card.”

Goldin’s amended description, however, still failed to disclose the details of the Lelands sale specifically and actually stated that he had not been presented with evidence supporting the existence of the second card.  In fact, Goldin continued to selectively post information in his possession as he had also been informed that the card had sold for $1,900 in 1994.  Goldin’s editing on the lot description also includes no highlighting or alerts to bidders that the description has been amended.

Another ultra-rare Joe Jackson card appeared in the same 1994 Lelands auction as a consignment from Dennis Goldstein who had collected the largest group of Boston Garters known at that time.

The Goldstein Collection also included another Joe Jackson card sold as one of the truly “rarest” Jackson cards in the same 1994 Lelands sale.  Lelands sold as lot 603 a 1914 Boston Garter card of Jackson with an estimate of $8,000 to $10,000 and noted that the provenance of the card traced back to the “Al Price collection.”  Says Goldstein, “As far as I know, one of the rarest Joe Jackson cards is the Boston Garter, not the Mendelsohn.”  Examples of the Boston Garter Jackson slabbed by SGC have sold at Legendary in 2007 for $207,000 (SGC Ex +5.5); Mile High’s 2008 auction for $86,975 (SGC-A); and one went unsold at Heritage in 2007 (SGC-10 Poor 1).  Mile High said in their lot description “A half dozen of these cards known to exist.”

While Goldin's auction description states the Jackson image is "never before seen" the same image has been showcased on BlackBetsy.com since at least Feb. 2003 as captured on the Internet Wayback Machine screen-shot.

In addition Goldin’s claims that the image itself represented on the card is “an image never before seen” is also inaccurate.  The exact same image has been showcased on Mike Nola’s popular Joe Jackson tribute website, BlackBetsy.com,  for close to a decade dating back to 2003.

By late afternoon on Wednesday October 30, Goldin further edited his addendum to remove the terms “any evidence”; “first known example” and “only documented example”  from the lot description, but chose not to identify Lelands auction house and the $1,900 sale of Goldstein’s example of the card.  Goldin also changed the phrase, “never before seen photographic image” to “never before published photographic image,” which is inaccurate since the image has been published on the Internet since 2003.  Goldin also chose not highlight the changes or note at the beginning or end of the lot description that the information was edited to acknowledge his card is not the first known example and not the only existing copy.

Earlier this afternoon Hauls of Shame Tweeted an image of the 1994 Lelands auction page showing the sale of Goldstein’s card so that interested bidders would be fully informed about the actual population of Jackson Mendelsohn cards.  In response, Goldin Auctions proceeded to block the Hauls of Shame account on Twitter.

There are many cards as rare or rarer than the Joe Jackson card in the Goldin sale including (l. to r.) 1893 Just So Cy Young; N172 Old Judge Cap Anson (In Uniform); 1887 N690 Kalamazoo Bat John Ward; 1920 Frederick Foto Babe Ruth; 1922 T231 Frank Baker

There’s no doubt that Goldin’s offered card of Jackson is a rare and important example from a very scarce set, its just not the rarest of all cards and not the only known copy of Jackson’s.  Along with the handful of 1914 Boston Garter Jackson cards, the three documented Jackson Mendelsohn cards (and two others not yet verified at the time this article was published) should be considered the rarest cards depicting “Shoeless Joe.”  In comparison, the famous Honus Wagner card, considered a rarity for many years by collectors far outnumbers these two Jackson issues. Hauls of Shame has documented 59 images of existing Wagner cards and verified three others to put the total population of Wagner cards at 62 examples (there are surely other Wagners out there that will likely be added in the future).

Auctioneer Ken Goldin has been very proactive when it comes to editing or removing problematic lots from his auctions including items from the Barry Halper Collection and a pair of forged boxing gloves attributed to Rocky Marciano.  While he accommodated some of the requests made to correct inaccuracies in his description after over-exaggerating the rarity of his lot, he decided to hold back the details of the 1994 auction and the claims that other cards also existed.  It will be up to card collectors to determine if he went far enough or if he’s just another auctioneer long on hyperbole and short on full disclosure to his clients.

After deleting the Jackson related Tweet Goldin sent Hauls of shame a response that did not answer any of the questions we asked earlier this evening including:  ”Why you have held back the details of the 1994 Lelands sale and the claims that another third example exists based upon Mr Goldstein’s information from his veteran collector friend? Why have you not highlighted your addendum to show the description has been updated as most all auctions do? Why did you Tweet the card was the “rarest” in the world when you obviously knew it was not at the time?”

Goldin’s response, in its entirety, states:

“In response to the information you provided us this week, we amended our description in multiple places, and added the below paragraph to our description.  In addition, an email was sent with the below paragraph to all bidders on the item:

After publication of our feature catalog, and subsequent press releases, we were informed by an old time established collector that an M101-6 Felix Mendelsohn Joe Jackson card was listed in an auction catalog in 1994 (listed as a 1919 image). However, as of  Friday, November 1st, 2013, we have yet to be provided with  any image of said card. Goldin Auctions researched this card and issue extensively, and found several long-time M101-6 collectors who had yet to even see an image of this card until this offering. In addition, the two most prestigious third-party grading services, SGC and PSA, have yet to authenticate or even see any other M101-6 Joe Jackson card.”

UPDATE: Image of Second Copy of M101-6 “Shoeless” Joe Jackson Card Surfaces; In Collection of Vetaran Collector

A second copy of an authentic existing M101-6 Mendelsohn “Shoeless” Joe Jackson card was sent to us by one of our readers.  It was one of the cards we referred to in our original article and has been in the possession of a veteran collector for many years.  Our thanks to them for making it possible to share this image with our readers:

The Joe Jackson M101-6 that sold at Goldin Auctions (left) is joined by a second copy of the Mendelsohn issue in superior condition (right).


4 Comments

  1. It is amazing how people lie about certain things like this, when it has been proven that they are wrong.The drama just goes on and on with these fools.

    Comment by Herbie Buck — November 1, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

  2. Getting reports of more M101-6 Jackson cards, will post the images when we receive them.

    Comment by admin — November 3, 2013 @ 1:42 pm

  3. Looks like he fell victim to the classic play of exaggeration and overselling a card he did not do enough research on. It happens with a lot of auction houses.

    Giving too much of the benefit of the doubt to an item when they should have played it a little more conservatively.

    If it is a never before seen image, they need to make sure it is a never before seen image. Most importantly when information comes out that there are more of them out there, they need to fix the description in a more profound way to let people know. It’s called doing the right thing.

    Comment by Kelly McDonough — November 3, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

  4. Is this the same Ken Goldin?

    Ken Goldin (scammer) on HSN…

    ——————————————————————————–

    Back in the days of Don West, the crazy guy who would try and sell late night sports cards, Ken Goldin, owner of Goldins collectables would call in and add to the crazyiness. I used to love to watch the show, but I knew something was fishey with the whole operation. If you guys don’t know who Don West is, http://www.donwest.org/ has all the info you need about this great man. There show eventually died, and now Ken Goldin has his own late night show at 1am here on ABC family.

    Anyway, while channel surfing tonight, I see Ken Goldin on HSN and I am like WTF. Now his look has changed and he has toned down his whole “act”. I remember reading that Ken Goldin is a scammer, and dug this up on google.

    “No other individual has done so much to screw over so many in this hobby. Ken Goldin was the man in charge at the now defunct Score Board, Inc. Many believe Ken Goldin pushed out countless product with autograph redemptions that he knew he wouldn’t have to honor once Score Board, Inc. filed for bankruptcy. He left collector’s holding now worthless redemption vouchers for the very same product he now often sells on Shop At Home for severely inflated amounts. ”

    http://www.snortscards.com/other/sathrip2.htm – Also saw this page, full of complains against his company

    I just thought it was funny that this scammer can jump across three different tv stations and continue to push his product. I wouldn’t touch anything he sells with a ten foot stick :disgust:
    bubbadu is offline

    Comment by Don W — November 7, 2013 @ 11:03 am

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