Shoeless Joe Jackson

Joseph Jefferson Jackson (July 16, 1887 – December 5, 1951), nicknamed "Shoeless Joe", was an American star outfielder who played Major League Baseball (MLB) in the early 1900s. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his alleged association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson's association with the scandal, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball's first commissioner, banned Jackson from playing after the 1920 season despite exceptional play in the 1919 World Series, leading both teams in several statistical categories and setting a World Series record with 12 base hits. Since then, Jackson's guilt has been fiercely debated with new accounts claiming his innocence, urging Major League Baseball to reconsider his banishment. As a result of the scandal, Jackson's career was abruptly halted in his prime, ensuring him a place in baseball lore.

Jackson played for three Major League teams during his 12-year career. He spent 19081909 as a member of the Philadelphia Athletics and 1910 with the minor league New Orleans Pelicans before joining the Cleveland Naps at the end of the 1910 season. He remained in Cleveland through the first part of 1915; he played the remainder of the 1915 season through 1920 with the Chicago White Sox. Later in life, Jackson played ball under assumed names throughout the south, including the 71st Service squadron in 1934 and winning the league title.

Jackson, who played left field for most of his career, currently has the third-highest career batting average in major league history.[1] In 1911, Jackson hit for a .408 average. It is still the sixth-highest single-season total since 1901, which marked the beginning of the modern era for the sport. His average that year also set the record for batting average in a single season by a rookie.[2] Babe Ruth said that he modeled his hitting technique after Jackson's.[3]

Jackson still holds the Indians and White Sox franchise records for both triples in a season and career batting average. In 1999, he ranked number 35 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players and was nominated as a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The fans voted him as the 12th-best outfielder of all-time. He also ranks 33rd on the all-time list for non-pitchers according to the win shares formula developed by Bill James.

"Shoeless Joe" Jackson
Shoeless Joe Jackson by Conlon, 1913.jpeg
Jackson with the Naps in 1913
Outfielder
Born: July 16, 1887
Pickens County, South Carolina
Died: December 5, 1951 (aged 64)
Greenville, South Carolina
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 25, 1908, for the Philadelphia Athletics
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1920, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average.356
Hits1,772
Home runs54
Runs batted in785
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

1907 Shoeless Joe Jackson on Victor Mills team
Jackson (top, second from left) on the 1907 Victor Mills team.

Jackson was born in Pickens County, South Carolina, the oldest son in the family. His father George was a sharecropper; he moved the family to Pelzer, South Carolina, while Jackson was still a baby.[4] A few years afterwards the family moved to a company town called Brandon Mill, on the outskirts of Greenville, South Carolina.[5] An attack of measles almost killed him when he was 10. He was in bed for two months, paralyzed while he was nursed back to health by his mother.[6]

Starting at the age of 6 or 7, Jackson worked in one of the town's textile mills as a "linthead", a derogatory name for a mill hand.[5] Family finances required Joe to take 12-hour shifts in the mill, and since education at the time was a luxury the Jackson family couldn't afford, Jackson was uneducated.[5] His lack of education ultimately became an issue throughout Jackson's life. It even affected the value of his memorabilia in the collectibles market; because Jackson was illiterate, he often had his wife sign his signature. Consequently, anything actually autographed by Jackson himself brings a premium when sold, including one autograph which was sold for $23,500 in 1990 (equivalent to $45,000 in 2018).[7] In restaurants, rather than ask someone to read the menu to him, he would wait until his teammates ordered and then order one of the items that he heard.[8]

In 1900, when he was 13 years old, his mother was approached by one of the owners of the Brandon Mill and he started to play for the mill's baseball team.[9] He was the youngest player on the team. He was paid $2.50 to play on Saturdays (equivalent to $75 in 2018).[6] He was originally placed as a pitcher, but one day he accidentally broke another player's arm with a fastball. No one wanted to bat against him so the manager of the team placed him in the outfield. His hitting ability made him a celebrity around town. Around that time he was given a baseball bat which he named Black Betsy.[9] He was compared to Champ Osteen, another player from the mills who made it to the Majors.[9] He moved from mill team to mill team in search of better pay, playing semi-professional baseball by 1905.[9]

Nickname

According to Jackson, he got his nickname during a mill game played in Greenville, South Carolina. Jackson had blisters on his foot from a new pair of cleats, which hurt so much that he took his shoes off before he was at bat. As play continued, a heckling fan noticed Jackson running to third base in his socks, and shouted "You shoeless son of a gun, you!" and the resulting nickname "Shoeless Joe" stuck with him throughout the remainder of his life.[10]

Professional career

Cobb jackson
Ty Cobb and Joe Jackson in Cleveland in 1913

Early professional career

1908 was an eventful year for Jackson. He began his professional baseball career with the Greenville Spinners of the Carolina Association, married 15-year-old Katie Wynn, and eventually signed with Connie Mack to play Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics.[10]

For the first two years of his career, Jackson had some trouble adjusting to life with the Athletics; reports conflict as to whether he just did not like the big city, or if he was bothered by hazing from teammates. Consequently, he spent a great portion of that time in the minor leagues. Between 1908 and 1909, Jackson appeared in just 10 games.[11] During the 1909 season, Jackson played 118 games for the South Atlantic League's Savannah Indians. He batted .358 for the year.[12]

Major League career

The Athletics gave up on Jackson in 1910 and traded him to the Cleveland Naps. He spent most of 1910 with the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association, where he won the batting title and led the team to the pennant. Late in the season, he was called up to play on the big league team. He appeared in 20 games and hit .387. In 1911, Jackson's first full season, he set a number of rookie records. His .408 batting average that season is a record that still stands and was good for second overall in the league behind Ty Cobb. His .468 on-base percentage led the league. The following season, Jackson batted .395 and led the American League in hits, triples, and total bases. On April 20, 1912, Jackson scored the first run in Tiger Stadium.[13] The next year, he led the league with 197 hits and a .551 slugging percentage.

In August 1915, Jackson was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Two years later, Jackson and the White Sox won the American League pennant and also the World Series. During the series, Jackson hit .307 as the White Sox defeated the New York Giants.

Jackson missed most of the 1918 season while working in a shipyard because of World War I. In 1919, he came back strongly to post a .351 average during the regular season and .375 with perfect fielding in the World Series. However, the heavily favored White Sox lost the series to the Cincinnati Reds. The next season, Jackson batted .382 and was leading the American league in triples when he was suspended, along with seven other members of the White Sox, after allegations surfaced that the team had thrown the previous World Series.

Black Sox scandal

ShoelessJoeJackson
Jackson in White Sox uniform.

After the White Sox lost the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds, Jackson and seven other White Sox players were accused of accepting $5,000 (equivalent to $72,412.14 in 2018 United States Dollars) each to throw the Series. In September 1920, a grand jury was convened to investigate the allegations.

Jackson's 12 base hits set a Series record that was not broken until 1964,[14] and he led both teams with a .375 batting average (although that was predominantly compiled in the three games the White Sox did not throw; he hit only .286 in the losses). He committed no errors, and threw out a runner at the plate.[15] Assertions that the Reds hit an unusually high number of triples to Jackson's position in left field[16] are not supported by contemporary newspaper accounts, which recorded no Cincinnati triples at all to left field (however, Baseball Register shows Cincinnati batters tripled to left-center and center in Game 1, and to left in Game 2). The only two White Sox errors involving extra-base hits were committed by Shano Collins, in right field. (Collins was never accused in the scandal, and in fact was listed in the indictments as a wronged party—the victim of $1,784 in lost earnings due to the actions of those charged.[17])

Some news accounts quoted Jackson, during grand jury testimony on September 28, 1920, admitting that he agreed to participate in the fix:[18]

When a Cincinnati player would bat a ball out in my territory I'd muff it if I could—that is, fail to catch it. But if it would look too much like crooked work to do that I'd be slow and make a throw to the infield that would be short. My work netted the Cincinnati team several runs that they never would have had if we had been playing on the square.

No such testimony appears in the actual stenographic record of Jackson's grand jury appearance.[19]

In 1921, a Chicago jury acquitted Jackson and his seven teammates of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the newly appointed Commissioner of Baseball, imposed a lifetime ban on all eight players. "Regardless of the verdict of juries", Landis declared, "no player that throws a ballgame; no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ballgame; no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are planned and discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball."[20]

After the grand jury returned its indictments, Charley Owens of the Chicago Daily News wrote a regretful tribute headlined, "Say it ain't so, Joe."[21] The phrase became legend when another reporter later erroneously attributed it to a child outside the courthouse:

When Jackson left the criminal court building in the custody of a sheriff after telling his story to the grand jury, he found several hundred youngsters, aged from 6 to 16, waiting for a glimpse of their idol. One child stepped up to the outfielder, and, grabbing his coat sleeve, said:
"It ain't true, is it, Joe?"
"Yes, kid, I'm afraid it is", Jackson replied. The boys opened a path for the ball player and stood in silence until he passed out of sight.
"Well, I'd never have thought it," sighed the lad.[22]

In an interview in Sport nearly three decades later, Jackson confirmed that the legendary exchange never occurred.[23]

Dispute over Jackson's guilt

1920 Babe Ruth and Shoeless Joe
Babe Ruth and Jackson, 1920

Jackson spent most of the last 30 years of his life proclaiming his innocence, and evidence has surfaced that casts significant doubt on his involvement in the fix. Jackson reportedly refused the $5,000 bribe on two separate occasions — despite the fact that it would effectively double his salary — only to have teammate Lefty Williams toss the cash on the floor of his hotel room. Jackson then reportedly tried to tell White Sox owner Charles Comiskey about the fix, but Comiskey refused to meet with him.[24] Unable to afford legal counsel, Jackson was represented by team attorney Alfred Austrian—a clear conflict of interest. Before Jackson's grand jury testimony, Austrian allegedly elicited Jackson's admission of his supposed role in the fix by plying him with whiskey.[15] Austrian was also able to persuade the nearly illiterate Jackson to sign a waiver of immunity from prosecution.[24] Years later, the other seven players implicated in the scandal confirmed that Jackson was never at any of the meetings. Williams said that they only mentioned Jackson's name to give their plot more credibility, although he did not say why Jackson would have been paid $5,000 had that been the case. Jackson's performance during the series itself lends further credence to his assertions, although again, the game records show that he hit markedly better during the "clean" games than those which were thrown.[15] A 1993 article in The American Statistician reported the results of a statistical analysis of Jackson's contribution during the 1919 World Series, and concluded that there was "substantial support to Jackson's subsequent claims of innocence".[25]

An article in the September 2009 issue of Chicago Lawyer magazine argued that Eliot Asinof's 1963 book Eight Men Out, purporting to confirm Jackson's guilt, was based on inaccurate information; for example, Jackson never confessed to throwing the Series as Asinof claimed. Further, Asinof omitted key facts from publicly available documents such as the 1920 grand jury records and proceedings of Jackson's successful 1924 lawsuit against Comiskey to recover back pay for the 1920 and 1921 seasons. Asinof's use of fictional characters within a supposedly non-fiction account added further questions about the historical accuracy of the book.[26]

Jackson remains on MLB's ineligible list, which automatically precludes his election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1989, MLB Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti declined to reinstate Jackson because the case was "now best given to historical analysis and debate as opposed to a present-day review with an eye to reinstatement."[27]

In November 1999, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution lauding Jackson's sporting achievements and encouraging MLB to rescind his ineligibility. The resolution was symbolic, since the U.S. government has no jurisdiction in the matter. Commissioner Bud Selig stated at the time that Jackson's case was under review, but no decision was issued during Selig's tenure.[28]

In 2015, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum formally petitioned Commissioner Rob Manfred for reinstatement, on grounds that Jackson had "more than served his sentence" in the 95 years since his banishment by Landis. Manfred denied the request after an official review. "The results of this work demonstrate to me that it is not possible now, over 95 years since those events took place and were considered by Commissioner Landis, to be certain enough of the truth to overrule Commissioner Landis' determinations", he wrote.[27]

Career statistics

See baseball statistics for an explanation of these statistics.

G AB H 2B 3B HR R RBI BB SO AVG OBP SLG
1,332 4,981 1,772 307 168 54 873 785 519 158 .356 .423 .517

Later life and death

Joe and Katie Jackson
Jackson and his wife Katie on their wedding day in 1908

During the remaining 20 years of his baseball career, Jackson played with and managed a number of semi-professional teams, most located in Georgia and South Carolina.[29] In 1922, Jackson moved to Savannah, Georgia, and opened a dry cleaning business with his wife.

In 1933, the Jacksons moved back to Greenville, South Carolina. After first opening a barbecue restaurant, Jackson and his wife opened "Joe Jackson's Liquor Store", which they operated until his death. One of the better known stories of Jackson's post-major league life took place at his liquor store. Ty Cobb and sportswriter Grantland Rice entered the store, with Jackson showing no sign of recognition towards Cobb. After making his purchase, the incredulous Cobb finally asked Jackson, "Don't you know me, Joe?" Jackson replied, "Sure, I know you, Ty, but I wasn't sure you wanted to know me. A lot of them don't."[30]

As he aged, Jackson began to suffer from heart trouble. In 1951, at the age of 64, Jackson died of a heart attack.[29] He was the first of the eight banned players to die, and is buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Greenville.[31] Prior to his death, he was scheduled to be interviewed on television to set the record straight about reports that he was living in poverty, but died before the interview could take place. He had no children, but he and his wife raised two of his nephews.

Films, plays, and opera

Shoeless Joe has been depicted in a few films in the late 20th century. Eight Men Out, a film directed by John Sayles, based on the Eliot Asinof book of the same name, details the Black Sox scandal in general and has D. B. Sweeney portraying Jackson.

The Phil Alden Robinson film Field of Dreams, based on Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella, stars Ray Liotta as Jackson. Kevin Costner plays an Iowa farmer who hears a mysterious voice instructing him to build a baseball field on his farm so Shoeless Joe can play baseball again.

Legacy

1913 Shoeless Joe Jackson Fatima Cigarette

Though Jackson was banned from Major League Baseball, statues and parks have been constructed in his honor. One of the landmarks built for him was a memorial park in Greenville, Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Park.[32][33] A life-size statue of Jackson, created by South Carolina sculptor Doug Young, also stands in Greenville's West End.

In 2006, Jackson's original home was moved to a location adjacent to Fluor Field in downtown Greenville. The home was restored and opened in 2008 as the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.[34] The address is 356 Field Street, in honor of his lifetime batting average. The restoration and move was chronicled on The Learning Channel's reality show "The Real Deal" episode "A Home Run for Trademark" which aired March 31, 2007. Richard C. Davis, the owner of Trademark Properties hired Josh Hamilton as the construction foreman. In a bit of irony, the show also chronicled Hamiliton's attempt to rejoin baseball after a one-year drug abuse suspension and 3-year absence.[35]

Jackson was inducted into the Shrine of the Eternals by the Baseball Reliquary.

Jackson's first relative to play professional baseball since his banishment was catcher Joseph Ray Jackson. The great-great-grand nephew of Shoeless Joe batted .386 for The Citadel in 2013 and was then drafted by the Texas Rangers. Later that year, he made his professional debut with the Northwest League's Spokane Indians.[36][37][38]

See also

References

  1. ^ Pruitt, Sarah. "Did Shoeless Joe Jackson conspire to throw the 1919 World Series?". History. A&E Television Networks, LLC. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ Although he was in the majors as early as 1908, Major League rules at the time stipulated that a player was considered a rookie until he has had more than 130 at-bats in a season."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-10. Retrieved 2007-06-03.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Joe Jackson". thebaseballpage.com. Archived from the original on 2009-01-26. (archived January 26, 2009).
  4. ^ David L. Fleitz (2007-11-14). Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson. McFarland. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-7864-3312-4.
  5. ^ a b c Fleitz p. 7
  6. ^ a b Fleitz p. 9
  7. ^ "Joe Jackson Autograph Auctioned for $23,500". The Nevada Daily Mail. Associated Press. December 9, 1990. p. 1.
  8. ^ Honig, Donald. The Man in the Dugout.
  9. ^ a b c d Fleitz p. 10
  10. ^ a b "Chicago Historical Society". chicagohs.com. Archived from the original on March 20, 2013. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  11. ^ "JoeJackson.com Biography". shoelessjoejackson.com. Archived from the original on January 12, 2007. Retrieved December 11, 2006.
  12. ^ "Shoeless Joe Jackson Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  13. ^ The Final Season, p.5, Tom Stanton, Thomas Dunne Books, An imprint of St. Martin's Press, New York, 2001, ISBN 0-312-29156-6
  14. ^ "All-time and Single-Season World Series Batting Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2015-10-03.
  15. ^ a b c Purdy, Dennis (2006). The Team-by-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball. New York City: Workman Publishing Company. ISBN 978-0-7611-3943-0.
  16. ^ Neyer, Rob. Say it ain't so ... for Joe and the Hall. ESPN Classic.com. 30 August, 2007.
  17. ^ Indictment & Bill of Particulars in People of Illinois v Cicotte (known as The "Black Sox" Trial). umkc.edu archive, retrieved December 30, 2015.
  18. ^ "Attell Says He Will Have Plenty to Say", Minnesota Daily Star, September 29, 1920, pg. 5
  19. ^ "In the Matter of the Investigation of Alleged Baseball Scandal" (PDF). Black Betsy. September 28, 1920.
  20. ^ "The Chicago Black Sox banned from baseball". ESPN. November 19, 2003. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
  21. ^ ""Black Sox" trial, 1921: "Say it ain't so, Joe"". Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  22. ^ "'It Ain't True, Is It, Joe?' Youngster Asks". Minnesota Daily Star. September 29, 1920. p. 5.
  23. ^ "Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame – 1949 Sport Magazine Interview". Black Betsy.
  24. ^ a b Plummer, William (August 7, 1989). "Shoeless Joe: His Legend Survives the Man and the Scandal". People. Retrieved August 13, 2011.
  25. ^ Bennett, J. (1993) Did Shoeless Joe Jackson throw the 1919 World Series. The American Statistician 47(4), pp. 241–250.
  26. ^ Voelker, Daniel J.; and Paul A. Duffy. "Black Sox: 'It ain't so, kid, it just ain't so'", Chicago Lawyer, 1 September 2009.
  27. ^ a b "MLB won't reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson". ESPN. September 1, 2015. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  28. ^ "U.S. House Backs Shoeless Joe". CBS.com. November 8, 1999. Retrieved May 29, 2008.
  29. ^ a b "Joe Jackson Timeline". blackbetsy.com. Archived from the original on October 23, 2006. Retrieved November 26, 2006.
  30. ^ "Ty Cobb & Joe Jackson story" (PDF). www.pde.state.pa.us Jackson also kept playing ball under assumed names throughout the south including the Army Air Corp 71st.Service squadron baseball team winning the league championship in 1934 while being coached by Gabriel Disosway who became a four star General. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 12, 2006. Retrieved November 23, 2006.
  31. ^ Fisher, Marc. "At the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, S.C., it ain't so". WashingtonPost.com. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  32. ^ " "Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Park". Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  33. ^ Josh Pahigian (2007). The Ultimate Minor League Baseball Road Trip: A Fan's Guide to AAA, AA, A, and Independent League Stadiums. Globe Pequot. pp. 169–171. ISBN 978-1-59921-627-0.
  34. ^ "Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library". Retrieved December 19, 2013.
  35. ^ "Hooray for Trademark Properties and Richard Davis!!!". Fraud Files Forensic Accounting Blog. 2007-03-28.
  36. ^ Caple, Jim. "Meet Joe Jackson, shoes 'n' all". espn.go.com. March 26, 2014. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  37. ^ Hartsell, Jeff. "Texas Rangers take Citadel's Joe Jackson; Mariners pick C of C pitcher Jake Zokan". postandcourier.com. June 8, 2013. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  38. ^ "Joe Jackson Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved March 26, 2014.

Bibliography

External links

1912 Cleveland Naps season

The 1912 Cleveland Naps season was a season in American baseball. The Naps had two of the best hitters in the majors in Shoeless Joe Jackson and Nap Lajoie. Despite this, they ended up back in the second division, finishing in fifth place with a record of 75-78.

1919 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1919 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds won the National League pennant, then went on to win the 1919 World Series. The team's accomplishments were overshadowed by the subsequent Black Sox scandal, when it was discovered that their American League opponents, the Chicago White Sox had conspired to throw the series.

1936 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

The first elections to select inductees to the Baseball Hall of Fame were held in 1936. Members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) were given authority to select individuals from the 20th century; while a special Veterans Committee, made up of individuals with greater familiarity with the 19th century game, was polled to select deserving individuals from that era. The intent was for 15 honorees to be selected before the 1939 ceremonies – 10 from the 20th century and 5 from the 19th; additional players from both eras would be selected in later years. Voters were given free rein to decide for themselves in which group a candidate belonged, with neither group knowing the outcome of the other election; some candidates had their vote split between the elections as a result – Cy Young, the pitcher with most wins in Major League history, finished 8th in the BBWAA vote and 4th in the Veterans vote. In addition, there was no prohibition on voting for active players, a number of whom received votes. Individuals who had been banned from baseball – such as Shoeless Joe Jackson and Hal Chase – were also not formally excluded, though few voters chose to include them on ballots.

In the BBWAA election, voters were instructed to cast votes for 10 candidates, the same number of desired selections; in the Veterans' election, voters were also instructed to vote for 10, although the desire for only 5 initial selections led to revisions in the way the votes were counted. Any candidate receiving votes on at least 75% of the ballots in either election would be honored with induction to the Hall upon its opening in the sport's supposed centennial year of 1939.

Anderson Joes

The Anderson Joes were a minor league baseball club that existed in 2007. The team was based in Anderson, South Carolina and was named after outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson, who grew up in the local area. The team played as a member of the independent South Coast League.

The Joes began the season with rookie Nate Jacks, an outfielder from Clinton, South Carolina and Desi Wilson, a former first baseman with the San Francisco Giants, serving as the team's manager. However, midway through the season, he left the position of manager and was activated as a player. He was then traded to the South Georgia Peanuts where he served as a player-coach for the remainder of the season. Wilson was replaced at the position by veteran minor league manager Kash Beauchamp.The team finished their lone season at 5th place in the league standings, 12 games in front of the last place Charlotte County Redfish.

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Bibb Falk

Bibb August Falk (January 27, 1899 – June 8, 1989) was an American left fielder in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago White Sox (1920–28) and Cleveland Indians (1929–31).

Born in Austin, Texas, Falk played football and baseball at the University of Texas before signing with the White Sox in 1920. He was a spare outfielder with the Sox until news of the 1919 Black Sox scandal broke and eight players were suspended; Falk replaced Shoeless Joe Jackson in left field. Falk was a consistent hitter, ending his career after twelve seasons with a .314 career batting average. He was also known as a heady player whose merciless riding of opponents earned him the nickname "Jockey." His best season was in 1926 with the White Sox; he had a .345 batting average, 43 doubles, and 108 runs batted in, and finished 12th in MVP voting that year. After the 1928 season, he was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Chick Autry, and played three more seasons in the major leagues before retiring as a player and becoming a coach.

After Major League coaching stints with the Indians (1933) and Boston Red Sox (1934), Falk coached baseball at the University of Texas from 1940 to 1942, then again from 1946 to 1967, winning consecutive College World Series titles in 1949 and 1950. In 1975, the new Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas was named in honor of Falk and his former coach, Billy Disch. He died at age 90 in Austin.

Black Betsy

Black Betsy was the primary baseball bat of Shoeless Joe Jackson. It was created in 1903 when Jackson was 15. It broke the record for the highest sold baseball bat in history, when it was sold for $577,610 in 2001. By then it was considered one of baseball's most fabled artifacts.

Black Sox Scandal

The Black Sox Scandal was a Major League Baseball match fixing incident in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally losing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for money from a gambling syndicate led by Arnold Rothstein. The fallout from the scandal resulted in the appointment of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as the first Commissioner of Baseball, granting him absolute control over the sport in order to restore its integrity.

Despite acquittals in a public trial in 1921, Judge Landis permanently banned all eight men from professional baseball. The punishment was eventually defined to also include banishment from post-career honors such as consideration for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Despite requests for reinstatement in the decades that followed (particularly in the case of Shoeless Joe Jackson), the ban remains in force.

Bris Lord

Bristol Robotham Lord (September 21, 1883 – November 13, 1964) was an American professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1905 to 1913 for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Naps, and Boston Braves.

Lord is best known for the deal that sent him to the Athletics in 1910. By then, owner/manager Connie Mack claimed that Lord was essential in their subsequent pennant-winning seasons, even though he was not near the equal of what Mack traded to get him—namely, Shoeless Joe Jackson—, who would go on to hit .408 in his rookie season of 1911 and finish his career with the third highest batting average of all time.

After his playing career, Lord managed several minor league teams, owned a car dealership in partnership with his brother, and also owned a pool hall in Chester, Pennsylvania. He then worked at the Delaware County juvenile home in Upland before retiring in the mid-1950s.

Lord died in Prince Frederick, Maryland on November 13, 1964. He was buried at Lawn Croft Cemetery in Linwood, Pennsylvania.

Doug Young (sculptor)

Doug Young (born April 9, 1955) is a sculptor of life-size bronze statues. He lives in South Carolina, United States.

Young studied under well-known South Carolina artists Emery Bopp, Darell Koons, and Carl Blair as well as the sculptor and restoration artist Adrianus Van Der Staak.

Young has lived in North or South Carolina since 1973 and moved to Greenville, South Carolina in 1992. His works include a life-size sculpture of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, which stands at Greenville's West End. The 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson statue was unveiled on July 13, 2002.Young's other life size works include:

Gethsemane a commissioned work for North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina

The Patriot for J. L. Mann High School

Della Gillette commissioned by Pi Beta Phi to commemorate the Pi Beta Phi settlement school in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Eight Men Out

Eight Men Out is a 1988 sports drama film based on Eliot Asinof's 1963 book Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series. It was written and directed by John Sayles. The film is a dramatization of Major League Baseball's Black Sox scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the 1919 World Series. Much of the movie was filmed at the old Bush Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams is a 1989 American fantasy-drama sports film written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, adapting W. P. Kinsella's novel Shoeless Joe. It stars Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster in his final film role. It was nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Original Score, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

In 2017, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

List of Chicago White Sox nicknames

In the last 100-plus years, the Chicago White Sox have had many players with colorful and memorable nicknames from "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to "Old Aches & Pains" Appling, Minnie the "Cuban Comet" Minoso, "Little Louie" Aparicio, "Black Jack" McDowell, and Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas. These are some of the best.

Dick Allen: "Wampum"

Sandy Alomar: "Iron Pony"

Luis Aparicio: "Little Louie"

Luke Appling: "Fumblefoot" or "Kid Boots" or "Old Aches & Pains"

Cuke Barrows, Roland Barrows: "Cuke"

Bruno Block, James John Blochowicz: "Bruno"

Ken Boyer: "Cap" or "Captain"

Smoky Burgess, Forrest Harrill Burgess: "Smoky"

Iván Calderón: "Ivan The Terrible"

Norm Cash: "Stormin’ Norman"

Eddie Cicotte: "Knuckles"

Rocky Colavito, Rocco Colavito: "Rocky"

Eddie Collins: "Cocky"

José Contreras: "Commander"

Joe Crede: "Clutch Norris"

Bucky Dent, Russell Earl O’Day: "Bucky" or "Bucky 'Fucking' Dent"

Octavio Dotel: "Ol' Dirty"

Richard Dotson: "Dot"

Brian Downing: "Incredible Hulk"

Red Faber, Urban Clarence Faber: "Red"

Carlton Fisk: "Pudge"

Nellie Fox, Jacob Nelson Fox,: "Nellie", "Little Nel", or "The Mighty Mite"

Freddy García: "Chief"

Ralph Garr: "Road Runner"

Kid Gleason, William Gleason: "Kid"

Goose Gossage, Richard Michael Gossage: "Goose" or "The White Gorilla"

Craig Grebeck: "The Little Hurt"

Bo Jackson, Vincent Edward Jackson: "Bo"

Joe Jackson: "Shoeless Joe"

Bobby Jenks: "Big Bad Bobby Jenks"

Lance Johnson: "One Dog"

Ted Kluszewski: "Big Klu"

Paul Konerko: "Paulie"

Carlos Lee: "El Caballo"

Ted Lyons: "Sunday Teddy"

Jack McDowell: "Black Jack"

Catfish Metkovich, George Michael Metkovich: "Catfish"

Minnie Miñoso, Saturnino Orestes Armas (Arrieta) Miñoso: "Minnie" or "The Cuban Comet"

Blue Moon Odom, Johnny Lee Odom: "Blue Moon"

Magglio Ordóñez: "El Caribe Mayor (The Caribbean Mayor)" or "Mags"

Tom Paciorek: "Wimpy"

Don Pall: "The Pope"

Herbert Perry: "The Milkman"

Bubba Phillips, John Melvin Phillips: "Bubba"

Billy Pierce: "Billy the Kid"

Scott Podsednik: "Pods"

Carlos Quentin: "TCQ"

Tim Raines: "Rock"

Alexei Ramírez: "The Cuban Missile"

Ray Schalk: "The Cracker"

Tom Seaver: "Tom Terrific"

Bill Skowron: "Moose"

Moose Solters, Julius Joseph Soltesz: "Moose" or "Lemons"

Nick Swisher: "Dirty Thirty"

Frank Thomas: "The Big Hurt"

Jim Thome: "Big Jimmy" or "Mr. Incredible"

Javier Vázquez: "The Silent Assassin"

Robin Ventura: "Batman"

Dayán Viciedo: "The Tank"

Ed Walsh: "Big Ed"

Skeeter Webb, James Laverne Webb: "Skeeter"

Hoyt Wilhelm: "Old Sarge"

Walt Williams: "No Neck"

Taffy Wright, Taft Shedron Wright:: "Taffy"

Early Wynn: "Gus"

List of Major League Baseball players with a .400 batting average in a season

In baseball, batting average (AVG) is a measure of a batter's success rate in achieving a hit during an at bat, and is calculated by dividing a player's hits by his at bats. The achievement of a .400 batting average in a season is recognized as "the standard of hitting excellence", in light of how batting .300 in a season is already regarded as solid. Twenty players have recorded a batting average of at least .400 in a single Major League Baseball (MLB) season as of 2018, the last being Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox in 1941. Three players – Ed Delahanty, Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby – have accomplished the feat in three different seasons, and no player has ever hit over .440, a single-season record established by Hugh Duffy in 1894. Ross Barnes was the first player to bat .400 in a season, posting a .429 batting average in the National League's inaugural 1876 season.In total, 20 players have reached the .400 mark in MLB history and five have done so more than once. Of these, ten were right-handed batters, nine were left-handed, and one was a switch hitter, meaning he could bat from either side of the plate. Two of these players (Terry and Williams) played for only one major league team. The Philadelphia Phillies are the only franchise to have four players reach the milestone while on their roster: Delahanty, Billy Hamilton, Sam Thompson, and Tuck Turner, all of whom attained a batting average over .400 during the 1894 season. Three players won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in the same year as their .400 season. Tip O'Neill, Nap Lajoie, and Hornsby are the only players to have earned the Triple Crown alongside achieving a .400 batting average, leading their respective leagues in batting average, home runs and runs batted in (RBI). Although Shoeless Joe Jackson's .408 batting average in 1911 did not earn him the American League's batting title, it established a major league record for a rookie that stands to this day. Fred Dunlap has the lowest career batting average among players who have batted .400 in a season with .292, while Cobb – with .366 – recorded the highest career average in major league history.Due to the 75 years that have elapsed since Williams became the last player to achieve the feat and the integral changes to the way the game of baseball is played since then – such as the increased utilization of specialized relief pitchers – a writer for The Washington Post called the mark "both mystical and unattainable". Consequently, modern day attempts to reach the hallowed mark by Rod Carew (.388 in 1977), George Brett (.390 in 1980) and Tony Gwynn (.394 in the strike-shortened 1994 season) have generated considerable hype among fans and in the media. Of the seventeen players eligible for the Baseball Hall of Fame who have batted .400 in a season, fourteen have been elected and two were elected on the first ballot. Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 MLB seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months. These requirements leave two players ineligible – Barnes and Turner – who did not play in at least 10 seasons. Shoeless Joe Jackson is ineligible for the Hall of Fame because he was permanently banned from baseball in 1921 for his involvement in the Black Sox Scandal.

Shoeless Joe (novel)

Shoeless Joe is a 1982 magic realist novel by Canadian author W. P. Kinsella which became better known due to its 1989 film adaptation, Field of Dreams. The book was written when Kinsella attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and decided to incorporate the stories he told about the Black Sox Scandal, imagining if Shoeless Joe Jackson came back to the same city Kinsella was living in, Iowa City.

Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum

The "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Museum and Library was first opened to the public on June 21, 2008. Located across from Fluor Field in Greenville, South Carolina, the five room brick house in which Shoeless Joe Jackson lived and died in contains a few of his personal belongings and over 2,000 books related to baseball.In 2015, the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum formally petitioned Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred for Jackson's reinstatement to baseball, on grounds that Jackson had "more than served his sentence" in the 95 years since his banishment by Kenesaw Landis. Manfred denied the request after an official review. "The results of this work demonstrate to me that it is not possible now, over 95 years since those events took place and were considered by Commissioner Landis, to be certain enough of the truth to overrule Commissioner Landis' determinations," he wrote.The museum allows members of the public to visit on Saturdays and conducts private tours during the week. While in Greenville, many visitors to the museum will also visit "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's grave. His grave is located near Bob Jones University. When visiting the grave, members of the public will leave baseball related equipment such as baseballs, gloves, and cleats.

The Fix (opera)

The Fix is an opera by composer Joel Puckett and librettist Eric Simonson. As The Fix: Opera in Two Acts the work received its world premiere at the Ordway Theater, Saint Paul, Minnesota, on March 16, 2019 under the directorship and dramaturgy of Eric Simonson.

Tom Stouch

Thomas Carl "Tom" Stouch (December 2, 1869 – October 7, 1956) was a Major League Baseball second baseman who played four games with the Louisville Colonels of the National League in 1898. He is best known for "discovering" Shoeless Joe Jackson who played against him while Jackson was in a mill team in Greer, South Carolina in 1907.

1876–1899
1900–1941
Banned players
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