Friday, July 16, 2010

Shoeless Joe

The rather large eared fellow above is one Joseph Jefferson Jackson, born this day 1887 in Pickens County, South Carolina. He is best remembered for being a part of the Chicago "Black Sox," the team that conspired to fix the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. He got his famous nickname "Shoeless" Joe by literally playing in his stocking feet in a game. He had bought some new cleats, and they were giving him blisters, therefore off came the shoes, and a nickname was born. He was, by all accounts, one fine fucking baseball player. His career batting average of .356 is still third all time behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby (also two fine fucking baseball players). He still holds the White Sox's all time record for triples, and career batting average.
His role in the Black Sox scandal has been debated since day one, he did supposedly admit to taking 5 grand, but the fellow that gave it to him said that he literally threw the money onto the floor of Jackson's room. His batting average in the 1919 Series was .375, he made no errors, and even threw a runner out at the plate. Hardly the actions of a player trying to lose the series. Years later, after he and his seven teams were banned for life from baseball, the other seven players said that he was never at any of the meetings that were held to discuss the fix. He remains banned from baseball, and therefore ineligible for the Hall of Fame. This is a shame for he would certainly be a shoo-in for the Hall. He maintained his innocence to the end of his life, and after a reading of some of the evidence of his "crimes," I am pretty sure he was not involved in the fix. So, for being a fantastic ball player "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (July 16th, 1887-December 5th, 1951, at the age of 64 of a heart attack), you are my (327th) hero of the day.

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