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"Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Born July 16, 1889
Pickens County, South Carolina

Born in a family of poor textile mill workers, young Joe and his family worked long 12 hour days with little schooling and all remained illiterate. At age 13, Joe began pitching on the company's baseball team. His fastball was so forceful that he once broke a catchers' arm.  No one was willing to catch Joe Jackson after that and he was moved to the outfield. His torrid hitting impressed all lookers and in 1907 he was signed for $75.00 a month by the Greenville Spinners - Class D - minor leagues. This salary was well over twice what he was making in the textile mill.  Joe Jackson was fitted with a new pair of baseball spiked shoes but these new shoes gave him blisters so he played in his stocking feet.  In one game, he belted a long triple and as he slid into third base a opposing fan yelled "You Shoeless Scum, you!"  Hence he became known as "Shoeless Joe" Jackson.

Philadelphia Athletics - 1908

Philadelphia Athletics owner Connie Mack signed Joe Jackson for $325.00. Left-handed hitter Joe Jackson bangs out three hits in his major league debut.

Joe Jackson Gone - 1908
Rookie wonder, Joe Jackson jumped on a train and headed back to home after his team mates ridiculed his hayseed ways.  Jackson played only five games and was missing from further play. He played in the minors the rest of the year.

Unable to get along with his team mates, Philadelphia owner Connie Mack traded "Shoeless Joe" Jackson to the Cleveland Team as the 1909 season had barely begun.  After only five games again, Connie Mack stated, " I knew our players didn't like Jackson, but that isn't why I traded him, I also knew Joe had great possibilities as a hitter, but at the same time things were going none too well for Owner Charlie Somers in Cleveland".  "I was anxious to do do Somers a good turn in appreciation for the way he helped us in Philadelphia in the early days of the league."

Playing in only 20 games this season in Cleveland; Joe Jackson hit .387, getting 29 hits in 75 At Bats including 5 triples, 2 doubles and one homer. Fans were in awe of his graceful batting swing, his speed on the base paths, and his powerful throwing arm.

Deluge of Hits
"Shoeless Joe" Jackson batted .408 but legendary Ty Cobb hit .420 to win batting title. In his first full season, Jackson stole 41 bases, hit 45 doubles, 19 triples, 7 HR's and had an .468 on base pct along with a .540 slugging average.  "Shoeless Joe" was making headline news with his blazing speed and natural hitting ability.

JOE JACKSON BATS .395 - 1912
Joe Jackson batted .395 with 226 hits including 44 doubles, 26 triples and had an on base pct of .458.  He also stole 35 bases. "Shoeless Joe" told Ty Cobb, " What a heck of a league this is, I hit .387, .408 and .395 the last three years and I ain't won nothin' yet!". Jackson never did win a batting crown but was respected by all players with his legendary baseball performances in fielding and hitting. Baseball immortal Babe Ruth copied Jackson batting stance and star Hall of Fame pitcher, Walter Johnson said, " I consider Joe Jackson the greatest natural ball player I've ever seen". History writers rate "Shoeless Joe" Jackson as one of the top five ballplayers of this century - great speed, strong accurate, right-handed throwing arm and a legendary hitter.  Jackson's 26 triples in one season is still a Cleveland Indians' record.

View Joe Jackson Legend (Page 2)



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