31 Mar 2006 09:54:54
Shoeless Joe

I finished a great book "Shoeless : the life and times of Joe Jackson."
The author Fleitz points out not only instances of where Jackson threw
plays in the '19 series, but also, which I'm sure not a lot of people
are aware, that Jackson also threw games during the '20 season.

In fact, I read three scandal books in a row: Canseco's, Jackson and
the Rose book. Both Rose and Jackson are deserving of their fates but
Jackson is far worse in my opinion. He clearly and without a doubt
threw games in the 19 World Series and in regular season games in the
'20 season and should never be allowed in HOF ever, no matter what the
S.C. politians do. In one instance of his grand jury testimony, Jackson
complains that he didn't get all of the 20,000 promised him (he was
only paid 5000). He had a good average in the series but there is
without question, no doubt he threw plays and got hits when it didn't
matter during that series, an unforgiveable offense.

Some of the movie Eight Men Out is fabricated (like the part where
Comisky promised Cicotte a bonus for winning 30 games and held him back
for two weeks) or instances told out of order for dramatic purposes,
but the part where the reporters cirlced plays on their scorecard and
matched them up later to see if players were throwing plays for
gamblers is true.

With that said, I wonder if Jackson had been allowed to play, would he
have become a big power hitter like Ruth? Ruth copied Jackson's
uppercut swing and Jackson himself was known as "power hitter" before
the ball became lively. His last season in '20 he put up some big
numbers and Jackson played semi-pro ball well into his 40s so he was
capable of playing for a long time. I wonder if he would have become a
big home run hitter in the 20s? Also, his bat was an amazing 48
OUNCES!! Anyone who's played baseball before knows that amazing. In
high school & college I swung a 34 ounce and I think a few other guys
did and that was the heaviest on my team (there might have been
slightly heavier, I can't remember exactly). 48 ounces in amazing. I
think Richie allen swung a 40 ounce or something like that but not a 48
ounce. If Jackson went to his uppercut swing 100% of the time in 20s,
he might have put up Ruthian numbers possibly.

Another interesting point about Jackson: he never won a batting title
because he played in the same league as Cobb. But if he had put up
those numbers in the NL, he would have won seven.