1919 World Series Scandal Essay

1107 words - 5 pages

Though being rife with scandal throughout the 160 year history of Major League Baseball, the 1919 World Series fixing scandal stands out as the most controversial. This World Series was not just controversial for the gambling that was involved, but how the team was managed, and how some players were unjustly punished for their role in the scandal. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson; a player that to this day has the third highest batting average, and has maintained his innocence up to his death in 1951. Jackson has been barred from induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame since 1920. This is a travesty considering Charles Comiskey; then owner of the Chicago White Sox, has been inducted, even though he also played a part in trying to cover up the scandal.
Joseph Jefferson Jackson was born sixteen July 1887 in Pickens South Carolina. Growing up in a southern mill town; Jackson, like many of this era, forgone education to work in the mills. At the age of six years old he was working twelve hour shifts in the mills to help his family out. Life in the mills were tough; many of the other employees would end up losing limbs, or even their lives to the heavy unguarded machinery. Jackson brother Davey was maimed for life from and accident in the mill. During a measles outbreak at age ten, Jackson became very ill and nearly lost his life. He was in bed for two months, paralyzed while he was nursed back to health by his mother. At the age of thirteen Joe Jackson mother was asked if he could play for the mills baseball team. Playing for the team mean Jackson would get lighter duties in the mill and time off to practice with the team. It also came with the pay of two dollars and fifty cent for every game he played. Jackson who was originally slotted as a pitcher, was moved to the outfield after one of his fastballs broke the arm of another player. He used a bat that he made himself out of a tightly grained piece of wood. He hand sanded this wood into shape and finished it with a glossy ebony sheen. He gave his bat the nickname “Black Betsy” and kept it closely guarded; not that anybody would want to uses his bat; at thirty six inches and forty-eight ounces, it was far longer and heavier than anybody could swing. Jackson batting ability quick made him a celebrity in the mill leagues, were he would be compared to Champ Olsten, another mill league player who made it to the big leagues.
Joe Jackson’s professional baseball career began in 1908 with the Carolina Association’s Greenville team the Spinners. The Spinners were a minor league club affiliated with the Philadelphia Athletics of Major League Baseball. Jackson signed a contract with the Athletics in 1908, and would only go on to play ten games with the big league club between 1908 and 1909. Jackson played in so few games due to hazing from his team mates, and missing home. Jackson would often leave the team and head home for Greenville. Having trouble adjusting to life in the big city, the Athletics gave up on...

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