Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Happy birthday, Shoeless Joe Jackson

Babe Ruth (left) and Shoeless Joe Jackson.
It is the birthday of talented baseball player Shoeless Joe Jackson (1887), who was banned from the game after 1920 for his alleged involvement in the Black Sox Scandal in which several Chicago White Sox players were accused of trying to fix the 1919 World Series in exchange for payoffs from big-time gamblers. The players were acquitted in court but banned just the same. Some scholars believe Jackson was never involved in the fix. 8 Men Out (1963) by Eliot Asinof deals with the scandal and implicates Jackson. It was the basis of the 1988 film. The novel Shoeless Joe (1982) by W.P. Kinsella is a fantasy about an Iowa corn farmer who builds a baseball park in his field so Shoeless Joe and his fellow players can redeem themselves. It was the basis of the movie Field of Dreams (1989).

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