Major League Baseball vs Shoeless Joe Jackson

On October 22, 1920, eight players on the Chicago White Sox and five gamblers were indicted on nine counts of conspiracy and fraud.

The trial started in July of 1921. The people involved were being accused of betting on a 1919 World Series game featuring the White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds. The teammates were suspected of taking bribes to spuriously lose the game. A rumor started by Abe Attell who told a reporter from the Cleveland News, and turned the situation into one of the biggest scandals in baseball history.

One of the indicted players was 32-year-old Shoeless Joe Jackson who had spent five seasons with the White Sox after playing with the Philadelphia Athletics and the Cleveland Naps. He received his nickname after he took his uncomfortable shoes off for an at-bat because they were giving him blisters. Unfortunately, after he was accused of throwing a World Series game for $5000 he was banned from baseball for life. This happened without a proper trial. Sure players needed money, mostly because they were not paid as well as ballplayers are today, but no evidence exists to prove Jackson and his teammates guilty.

“God knows I gave my best in baseball at all times and no man on earth can truthfully judge me otherwise.” -Shoeless Joe Jackson

“(Shoeless Joe) Jackson’s fall from grace is one of the real tragedies of baseball. I always thought he was more sinned against than sinning.” – Connie Mack


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