The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library Part II
By: Dan Gibbs
Owner Charles Comiskey was trying to bring a World Series title to the South Side of Chicago but Jackson only hit .272 over the remainder of his first season. He rebounded to bat .341 in 1916 and helped lead them to the World Series title over the New York Giants in 1917. The White Sox won that series four games to two and Jackson batted .304 in the Series with 2 runs batted in.
I interviewed Executive Director of the Museum Dan Wallach and I asked him if Joe Jackson had received a World Series ring for the White Sox winning the World Series in 1917. He said the players received pendants during that time period and that Jackson had his turned into a ring. Mr. Wallach believed that an heir of the Jackson’s was now in possession of the ring. I researched the subject later and the 1922 New York Giants were the first team to receive World Series rings.
Shoeless Joe is better associated with the 1919 Chicago “Black Sox” scandal in which eight players of the White Sox allegedly conspired to throw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. Shoeless Joe had a great World Series batting .375 with a homerun and six runs batted in and played flawlessly in the field. All eight players were later acquitted of any wrong doing but the first baseball Commissioner, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, suspended the eight players for life after the 1920 season. The 1920 season would be arguably one of Joe’s best as he batted .382 with a career high 12 home runs and 121 runs batted in.
Joe would spend several seasons in the 1920’s managing and playing in various semi-pro leagues throughout the South from Louisiana to South Carolina. One of those seasons is detailed in a book Shoeless Summer: The Summer of 1923 when Shoeless Joe Jackson played baseball in Americus Georgia by John Bell. Several books and movies have detailed the life and times of Joe Jackson from Eliot Asinof’s Eight Men Out and a movie by the same name to the book Shoeless Joe, a work of fiction by Canadian author W.P. Kinsella, to the movie based on Kinsella’s book, Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. There is quite a bit of recent scholarship out now about the Chicago White Sox of 1919.