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Shoeless Joe Jackson Essay

1559 words - 6 pages

Shoeless Joe Jackson Joseph Jefferson Jackson was born on July 16, 1889, in Greenville, South Carolina. His parents were George Elmore and Martha Ann Jackson. Martha Ann was a big woman with jet-black hair who loved to cook. George Elmore was a thin, tall man, who loved to farm. Joe was oldest of the eight children. He had five brothers whose names were David, Jerry, Earl, Ernest, and Luther. His twin sisters, Martha Andre and Annabel, were both the babies of the Jackson family. In spite of the fact that the whole families were baptized Baptists, they very rarely practiced religion. In 1895, when Joe was six, the Jackson family moved to Brandon South Carolina. There, George Jackson got a job at the local mill, he never had any form of formal education. He was born illiterate and remained that way all throughout his life. Paralleling this time period, was the introduction of the National League roster of eight teams. They were Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. In 1902, when Joe was 13 he worked a 12-plus hour day in the local cotton mill with his father and one of his brothers. It was then he was first presented to the sport of baseball. He was given the opportunity to play on the "Textile League" and a sense of belonging. On Saturday afternoons, the team played from town to town, bringing prestige on to their company. When Joe was 15, he was given his first bat of his own which he named "Black Betsy." He was then traded to a Near Leaguers team, which was semi-pro. By this time, he had two passions: baseball and a girl four years younger, Katie Wynn. He began his profession career in 1908, with a home run, a triple, and a double, batting third and playing center field. In May, he was batting .350 and was engaged to Katie Wynn. Later in this season and after the marriage took place, June 19th, Joe Cantillion, the former manager of the Washington Senators said Joe "is simply a bush leaguer flash in the pan and will prove a force in the big leagues" (Frammer 13.) There are many theories of he gained the nickname "Shoeless Joe" but nevertheless he was a baseball myth of fact and fantasy. The theory of Connie Mack, the commissioner of baseball at the time is, "An apothecary down in Pittsburgh who had previously written me some good tips in regard to young prospects, kept urging me to give this fellow a try, but what intrigued me the most about this prodigy is that he played without shoes. "˜He doesn't even wear spikes or in fact anything covering his feet' came the tip. "˜He's so fast that he can tear around those bases without any such help. They call him Shoeless Joe.'" (Hayes 14) Another theory arises from a game in South Carolina where Joe was called in to pitch a game. The next day his feet were sore from pitching, and when it was his turn to bat, he slipped off his shoe and stepped into the batter's box. He slammed a home...

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