"Say It Ain’t So, Joe"
In 1949, a boy named William Bennethum wrote
to "Shoeless" Joe Jackson asking him
for his autograph, but because Jackson was illiterate,
he was unable to honor the boy's request.
A year later, after Jackson's death, the letter
from Bennethum was found among Jackson's belongings
in its original envelope. Jackson had signed his
name on the back of the envelope twice, and had
attempted a third signature. These signatures
are among a very small number of actual Jackson
signatures that exist.
In 1998, the then 62-year-old William Bennethum
said that he remembered writing the letter to
his hero, and that he had received an autograph
back, not Jackson's, but, instead, from Jackson's
wife Katy. She had always signed for him.