Cooperstown Chronicles – Shoeless Joe Jackson

Jan 24, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

I’ve just lobbied for Pete Ro$e, so getting on my soap box for Shoeless Joe should be much easier.  Yes, Shoeless Joe was part of the infamous Black Sox Scandal, but there is some debate of his role in it.  In that series Joe his .375, scoring five runs and driving in six more.  Furthermore, he didn’t make any errors in the series.  There is also debate as to whether or not he understood what he was getting into.  What’s not up for debate is his talent.

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI 

The Numbers
.356 Batting Average (3rd All-time)
1772 Hits (in 1332 games)
873 Runs
307 Doubles
168 Triples (26th All-time)
54 Home Runs
785 RBI
202 Stolen Bases
2577 Total Bases
.423 On-base % (16th All-time)
.517 Slugging % (63rd All-time)
.940 OPS (32nd All-time)

Playoffs – .345, 9 runs, 19 hits, 3 doubles, 1 HRs, 8 RBI in fourteen games.

The Awards
MVP votes in 4 seasons
.400 season in 1911

Top Ten Finishes
Batting Average - 8 times (Runner-up in ’11, ’12, ’13)
On-base % - 9 times (Led league in ‘11)
Slugging % – 9 times (Led league in ‘13)
OPS – 9 times (Led league in ’13)
Games - 4 times
At Bats – Twice
Runs - 6 times
Hits - 6 times (Led league in ’11 & ’12)
Total Bases - 7 times (Led league in ’12 & ’16)
Doubles - 6 times (Led league in ’13)
Triples - 9 times (Led league in ’12, ’16 & ’20)
Home Runs – 6 times
RBI – 8 times
Walks – Twice
Stolen Bases – Twice

Baseball Library
Baseball Reference Bullpen

The sad thing is, if he didn’t take part in the Scandal, he likely would have been one of the best players of all-time.  He was 30 when he was banished from the game he loved.  He hit .382 in his final season with 218 hits, 42 Doubles, 20 Triples, 12 Home Runs, 105 Runs and 121 RBI.  He was just entering his prime. 

The league was totally different in those days.  There was no Players Association to protect the players’ rights.  Shoeless Joe made $6000 in the 1919 season.  Accoring to an Inflation Calculator, $6000 was the equivelant of around $71,000 of 2007 dollars.  He was paid $5000 to be part of the scandal.  The White Sox took a big hit in attendance, going from 684, 521 in 1917 to 195,081.  Some suggest that Charles Comiskey passed some of the losses to his players by refusing to launder their uniforms.  The players objected to this and wore them without washing them.  From here the nickname “Black Sox” was born.   It’s hard to justify what the Black Sox members did, but judging by his stats in the World Series, I’m not sure Shoeless Joe followed through.

If you think I’m off my rocker for wanting to induct Shoeless Joe into the HOF, please let me know. 

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e

Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |
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14 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Anonymous
    June 14th, 2008 at 2:59 pm #

    He IS one of the best players of all time. Baseball just continues to not recognize him.

  2. LestersLegends
    June 14th, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Totally agree.

  3. BraystreetLad
    September 17th, 2008 at 8:58 am #

    Plus,had that scumbag Charles Comiskey paid his boys salaries commensu-
    rate with their abilities(I believe Jackson made $10,000 in ’20,his fi-
    nal season),there’d have been no Black Sox Scandal!!!!!

  4. LestersLegends
    September 17th, 2008 at 9:44 am #

    bray – totally agree

  5. Wayne
    December 2nd, 2008 at 1:09 pm #

    You list his numbers in the Series, which are impressive, but have you seen the splits between the games that the Sox lost and those that they won? I believe it was established that the gamblers not only told the Sox to lose, but which specific games to lose.

    Not to mention that Jackson admitted in open court that he took the money to lose.

  6. LestersLegends
    December 2nd, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    Maybe Hollywood has made him more of a sympathetic victim than he actually was. The picture that was painted was he wasn’t very bright and didn’t know exactly what he was doing. I understand your side though.

  7. Robert J. Hillman
    February 14th, 2009 at 11:43 am #

    With high salaries and steroids it is is upseting to me a ballplayer of Shoeless Joe Jackson caliber should be for-
    given and admitted to Hall of Fame. Yes there are far worse
    controversies in baseball than this man was alledge have done.

  8. LestersLegends
    February 14th, 2009 at 1:45 pm #

    To play Devil’s Advocate, throwing the WS is pretty bad.

  9. Richey P.
    April 2nd, 2009 at 6:39 pm #

    Joe Jackson belongs in the HOF. He was given a lifetime ban in 1920 and died in 1951. The lifetime ban was completed and evidence suggests he was not part of the fix. Justice needs to be served for the Jackson family and tThe Hall needs to include one of the greatest players ever to play. Once again, as he is known to do, Bud Selig makes no decision..waffles and ignores a controversial subject. I suggest we turn up the heat on the next Commissioner. Hopefully it will be a person with intellect and backbone.

  10. LestersLegends
    April 2nd, 2009 at 10:39 pm #


  11. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 12:58 pm #

    [...] Herman* Keith Hernandez Orel Hershiser Whitey Herzog (Manager) Gil Hodges Ralph Houk (Manager) Shoeless Joe Jackson Travis Jackson* Tommy John Bob Johnson Addie Joss* Jim Kaat George Kell* Joe Kelley* George Kelly* [...]

  12. Mitch Kurtz
    June 18th, 2009 at 11:20 pm #

    He is a player who without question should be in the Hall of Fame. When you look at his stats in the 1919 series, they did not indicate he was a part of the scandal. The real villain was the so-called “commish,”Kenesaw M. Landis. He was a racist and part of the reason for the sickening “Gentlemen’s Agreement” that did not allow a great player like Jackie Robinson to break the color line until after Landis died. Landis was without question, the wrong man for the job. Now let’s talk about Charles Comiskey! He was a greedy owner who was known for being so cheap that he would not launder his players’ uniforms. There are so many more things that Comisky did to break the morale of his team.

  13. LestersLegends
    June 19th, 2009 at 12:10 am #

    Excellent points Mitch.

  14. Anonymous
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    In the 1919 world series Joe Jackson had 12(a world series record) which I think still stands now. I really think he should be in the hall of fame. Also read Shoeless
    Joe & me by dan gutman

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