White Sox: Time To Revisit HOF Consideration for “Shoeless Joe”

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Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, site of induction ceremonies July 25, 2004 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, site of induction ceremonies July 25, 2004 in Cooperstown, New York. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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A banner reading ‘Cincinnati Reds 1919 Champions of the World’, after the team won the 1919 World Series. The event led to the infamous Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the game in exchange for money. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images)
A banner reading ‘Cincinnati Reds 1919 Champions of the World’, after the team won the 1919 World Series. The event led to the infamous Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of throwing the game in exchange for money. (Photo by FPG/Getty Images) /

1919 World Series Performance

In the 1919 World Series, Jackson went 12-for-32 at the plate, slapped three double sacks, clubbed a dinger, scored five runs, and knocked in six RBIs. His slash posting in that series was .375/.394/.563, and he recorded a .941 fielding percentage (16 PO’s in 17 chances). In comparison during their four games to two victories over the New York Giants in the 1917 World Series, he slashed .304/.333/.304., and a had a .900 fielding percentage (9 PO’s in 10 chances).

If he was paid to tank during the 1919 World Series, he surely didn’t get the memo from the powers to be.

The Meeting

It’s been reported that a meeting took place among six White Sox players in the room of first baseman Arnold “Chick” Gandil at the Ansonia Hotel in New York on Sept. 21, 1919.

It’s important to note that this date may be in question considering that Chicago had just dropped a doubleheader to the Red Sox the day before in Boston to conclude a 12-day 12-game east coast road trip. They were actually in New York to play the Yankees days earlier on the 17th and 18th of September. So why the team would’ve stopped in New York on the 21st en route home to Chicago in order to begin a five-game homestand on the 24th to close out the 1919 regular season is a little perplexing.

Nonetheless, two of the famous eight, Jackson and the seldom-used bench dwelling Fred McMillan, never attended said meeting. Thus, Jackson had no first-hand knowledge as to what was discussed among those who may have or may not have, been in attendance.

The Money

By all accounts, including Jackson himself, he received $5,000 (a large amount of cash in 1919; $72,749.13 in 2019 dollars) from a teammate (Williams) that was reportedly a payment for his anticipated participation in throwing a game, or multiple games, against the Cincinnati Red Stockings in the 1919 World Series.

Yet, if Jackson was supposedly a participant in the said scandal, why was he confused as to why Williams gave him $5,000 cash? And why in the world would he bring up the topic to both Comiskey and Comiskey’s errand boy, Harry Grabiner, after the World Series and less than a year before the grand jury proceedings?

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