Baseball lore is decidedly rich, with nuggets combining for alluring tales (apocryphal or otherwise) at any given interval. Never, however, do the game’s mystique and tradition resonate more so than when we grasp for bygone heroes and contemplate “what could have been.” This Deadball Era relic conjures up emotions that run the gamut. Crafted at the peak of Shoeless Joe Jackson’s mythical Major League career, this Draper & Maynard die-cut advertising display portrays the South Carolina-born slugger prior to his shameful fall from grace. Standing 16-3/8”-tall, the thick stock, easel-backed advertising display hawks Draper & Maynard Sporting Goods products, with a likeness of Jackson towering over text and an image of the New Hampshire-based company’s trademark canine. Vintage Jackson memorabilia pieces are as rare as players of his ilk. Compounding that simple fact, this one hails from his meteoric rise to stardom. The item has undergone professional restoration and comes with documentation detailing that treatment. More on our website.
With very high probability, this piece was crafted in 1913, as other known examples include Bob Bescher, Walter Johnson, Ed Konetchy and Heinie Zimmerman. All of these players (as well as Joe Jackson) enjoyed stellar showings in 1912 and warranted MVP consideration. While it is, of course, well documented that Jackson was banned for life from Major League baseball and relegated to barnstorming tours (often under an alias even in those less-than-glamorous endeavors), details and anecdotes of his playing days are sadly overlooked and obscured by the cold hard facts (and often times, speculation) regarding the Black Sox disgrace. Thus, it’s lost on many that Babe Ruth reportedly modeled his hitting technique after Jackson’s. Ruth also allegedly coined Draper & Maynard’s “Lucky Dog” slogan, noticing an opponent using a Draper & Maynard glove and proclaiming “Oh, you’ve got one of the lucky dog kind.” Prior to Ruth’s revelation, that “dog” was simply referred to as a “Pointer” (as it is on the offered Joe Jackson display).
Restoration: when unearthed, this treasure had cosmetic flaws including a missing portion of the bat, a head that had become separated and re-attached, and various scuff marks/areas of paper loss. The conservation treatment was conducted by Phoenix Art Restoration. That company’s reports reads as follows:
”Demount artwork from cardboard backing with warm water – paper is very disintegrated and flaky. Soak out as much staining as possible. Remount to 100% cotton acid free matboard in “cardboard color” to approximate original cardboard backing with cooked wheat paste. Recreate baseball bat and face with cotton rag matboard. Touch up over damage with gouache paint, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, colored pencil. Recreate stand. Note: Artwork surface is still fragile and somewhat flaky, due to its age and previous state of deterioration – handle carefully.”
Photographs of pre- and post-restoration accompany.