A Haulsofshame.com investigation proves that “Shoeless Joe’s” jersey in the Hall of Fame is not authentic. In a report published today, evidence is presented showing that the Museum’s jersey is manufactured by the wrong maker and doesn’t match photos showing Jackson in his actual 1919 uniform. The report also shows that collector Barry Halper made conflicting statements regarding the jersey’s provenance and illustrates how others sold by Halper at Sotheby’s were also fake.
Jackson was barred from the HOF in the aftermath of the “Black Sox scandal,” but his alleged jersey from 1919 was welcomed in Cooperstown with open arms. It was acquired by MLB from Yankee partner Barry Halper in 1998 as part of an $8 million purchase of 175 items, including the agreement that sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees. MLB donated the items to Cooperstown and Commissioner Bud Selig stated: “This important collection belongs in the Hall of Fame and that is where it will be for all time.”
Jackson’s alleged 1919 jersey is a pinstriped grey flannel made by Spalding. However, with the aid of historical records, photographs and the examination of authentic Sox garments, Haulsofshame.com has determined that Halper’s Jackson jersey is counterfeit. Peter J. Nash’s research reveals that White Sox uniforms from 1916-1921 were manufactured by Wilson. A May 4, 1919 ad in the Chicago Tribune shows that Sox owner Charles Comiskey ordered his uniforms from Wilson for 1919, making it impossible for the Hall’s treasure to have been Jackson’s.
Haulsofshame.com shows photos of Jackson in his 1919 road uniform without pinstripes. In addition, an authentic 1919-20 road jersey of Jackson’s teammate, Nemo Leibold, was auctioned in 2003, further illustrating the Hall’s jersey is bogus.
The article presents Halper’s conflicting statements as to how he acquired the jersey. In 1985 he told The Sporting News it was a “recent acquisition” from Jackson’s relatives. In 1998, Halper claimed he’d bought it from Jackson’s widow in the 1950s.
“This jersey’s not genuine,” said Peter J. Nash, Editor of Haulsofshame.com. “The Hall and MLB need to investigate this scam.” Nash’s website features investigative reports that recently exposed thefts at the Hall of Fame and the theft of Babe Ruth’s will from a NYC courthouse. The stories were covered by the NY Post and Boston Herald.
The report investigates other Halper uniforms sold at Sotheby’s with ties to Ollie O’Mara, an ex-Brooklyn Dodger turned fugitive who was indicted in a crime probe with mobster Al Capone’s brother.
Haulsofshame.com’s report features commentary from historian John Thorn and White Sox owner Eddie Einhorn who said: “Say it ain’t so.”
In the report, HOF official Brad Horn states, “It is critically important that we feel confident about the items being presented for the public benefit are authentic.”
The Jackson jersey is currently not on display.