Thursday, October 27, 2005

Shoeless Joe...RIP

This is a scan of a photo I had on my wall for a long time. Its a famous picture of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, the famous ballplayer for the Chicago Whitesox. He was ultimately banned by Major League Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, despite having been aquitted by a jury for having accepted money to throw the 1919 World Series.

Since the White Sox won the World Series, maybe poor Joe can finally rest in some peace. While its true he was part of the famous Black Sox scandal, he batted over .400 for the World Series that year and committed no errors. He even tried to return the bribe money after the game. Despite all this, he is remembered for the retort from a young fan as he left the courthouse, "Say it ain't so, Joe!"

While he probably knew he was accepting tainted money, you have to remember that ball players at this time usually went back to working in the coal mines during the off season because the pay was virtually nothing. Gambling on Baseball is sort of the moral gold standard in baseball. See: Rose, Pete. And for that, he will probably never get into the Hall of Fame, despite Ty Cobb saying that Jackson was the best pure hitter he ever saw.

On his death bed, Joe Jackson, who died illiterate and without a cent to his name, is quoted as having said, "I go now to meet the greatest umpire of them all, and He knows I'm innocent." That takes pluck...rest in peace, Joe. Your boys finally won it.

2 comments:

Sandy said...

I miss your daily posts. Hurry back!

Wozzeck33 said...

I don't follow sports, really, but that was a fine post. If the priesthood doesn't work out, you could always be a sportswriter! Thanks for a lift after a rough day.