"Shoeless" Joseph Jefferson Jackson Essay

1015 words - 4 pages

Born on July 16, 1887 in Pickens County, South Carolina, “Shoeless” Joseph Jefferson Jackson is frequently regarded as one of the best baseball players of all time. Joe's career as a baseball player was punctuated with a (then) all time high batting average of .356 (currently the third highest batting average on record); “Shoeless Joe's” influence was so substantial that baseball legend Babe Ruth “"... copied [“Shoeless” Joe] Jackson's style because [he] thought [“Shoeless” Joe] was the greatest hitter [He] had ever seen...”. Though his name was obscured by the “Black Socks” scandal of 1920, Joe Jackson managed to surmount his inferior circumstances, chief among which were poverty and illiteracy, to be considered a Baseball Legend. Due to his family's poor economic situation, Shoeless Joe Jackson needed to work at a steel mill, marking his first step towards his career as a professional ball-player, an illiterate, Joe Jackson was exploited in the Black Socks scandal, but his passionate attitude propelled him through another twenty years of minor league baseball until after his death in 1951, marked by the commemoration of his legacy with the standard amenities supplied to other deceased baseball greats.
“Shoeless” Joe's early start in baseball came about specifically as a result of his poor family's need for money, and would prove to work to his advantage in his latter years. Joe Jackson's rise to fame in the field of baseball began in 1900, when his mother arranged for him to play baseball on Saturdays for the price of two dollars and fifty cents, at the age of thirteen. As he progressed in the sport, “Shoeless” Joe went in search of better contracts from other mill baseball teams, who would offer him higher wages than the current team. “Shoeless” Joe's experience among the mill baseball teams was assimilated to that of Champ Osteen, another baseball player from that area who made it to the major leagues. By 1905, his experience playing baseball in the Mills would earn the eighteen year old Joe enough of a name to be hired by the Green-ville Spinners of the Carolina Association. After a brief stint with the Spinners, Connie Mack of the Philadelphia Athletics drafted “Shoeless” to play on his team. It wasn't until 1911 when Joe Jackson signed with the pelicans that he completed his first full season, setting a record .408 batting average for any other rookie to date. “Shoeless” Joe's need to support his family with what little money he could scrounge through various means opened a career opportunity for him to excel in baseball.
Shoeless Joe traversed a long way from the vicinity of poverty, evolving into a famous figure in the field of baseball. Quite clearly, “Shoeless” Joe's involvement with the Mill Baseball teams allowed him to acquire an interest in baseball in the first place. However, to pursue both wealth and his interests, Jackson needed to make sacrifices, in this instance, he sacrificed literacy. Later on in his life, “Shoeless”...

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