The Life and Times of Joe Jackson


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About the Book

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson was one of baseball’s greatest hitters and most colorful players. Born Joseph Jefferson Wofford Jackson on July 16, 1888, in Pickens County, South Carolina, Jackson went to work in a textile mill when he was around six years old, and got his start in baseball playing for the Brandon Mill team at the age of 13 earning $2.50 a game. He emerged as the star of the team and a favorite of fans with his hitting and throwing abilities, and moved up to play in the Carolina Association, where he received his nickname “Shoeless” because the blisters on his feet forced him to play in his stockings. He then made his move to the major leagues, signing on with the Philadelphia Athletics and rising to fame. This work chronicles Jackson’s life from his poor beginnings to his involvement in the scandal surrounding the 1919 World Series to his life after baseball and his death December 5, 1951, with most of the work focusing on his baseball career.

About the Author(s)

David L. Fleitz is a web developer and database analyst who lives in Troy, Michigan. A longtime SABR member, he has written nine other books on baseball history.

Bibliographic Details

David L. Fleitz
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 320
Bibliographic Info: photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2001
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0978-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5023-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1

1 The Kid from Brandon Mill      5
2 From Philadelphia to Savannah      21
3 Joe Arrives in Cleveland      33
4 .408      46
5 Baseball’s Newest Star      60
6 The Greatest Natural Hitter      71
7 Last Place      81
8 Turmoil and a Trade      96
9 A New Beginning      113
10 The 1917 Season      124
11 World Champions      136
12 War and Controversy      147
13 The Fateful Season      162
14 “What the Hell Is Coming Off Here?”      178
15 The Winter of 1919-20      195
16 The Most Difficult Season      206
17 The Grand Jury      219
18 The Trial      234
19 “Regardless of the Verdict of Juries…”nbsp;     248
20 “I Gave Baseball All I Had…”      259
21 Epilogue      273

Chapter Notes      289
Bibliography      305
Index      309

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Outstanding Sports Book of the Year—Hickory (N.C.) Metro Sports Commission
  • Finalist, Larry Ritter Book Award—SABR
  • Booklist Top Ten Title
  • Finalist, Dave Moore Award—Elysian Fields Quarterly
  • “undeniably one of America’s most remarkable hitters. The 80-year controversy over the scandal and Joe’s fiercely loyal fans should provide interest in this new life of Jackson”—Library Journal
  • “provocative…carefully examines Jackson’s life in order to distinguish reality from myth…a fine biography that clears up many of the misconceptions regarding one of baseball’s most enduring controversies”—Booklist
  • “well-written and carefully documented…informative and useful”—Nineteenth Century Notes
  • “well-researched and excellent narrative”—Nine
  • “wonderful”—SABR Deadball Committee Newsletter
  • “very informative”—The SABR Bulletin
  • “astute detail…an eloquent and credible picture of Shoeless Joe and his place in baseball history”—Boston Sunday Globe
  • “excellent…definitive…crisply written prose”—Baltimore Chronicle
  • “excellent”—Elysian Fields Quarterly
  • “examines in great detail many of the tales associated with Jackson”—Baseball America
  • “thoroughly researched…well-organized, tightly written, informative”—The Blade (Toledo, OH)
  • “a rich bibliography and copious notes indicates thorough research”—Sports Collectors Digest
  • “thoughtful examination…a masterpiece of clarity and succinctness…thorough…balanced”—Ohioana Quarterly