Most of us remember that back in 1989, Pete Rose was well on his way to Cooperstown before his professional career was derailed upon being investigated by MLB for gambling on baseball and that of his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, of whom he was managing at the time.
The subsequent investigation into the allegations against Rose by lawyer John M. Dowd, who was retained by MLB to do just that, led to then-Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti convincing Rose to voluntarily remain permanently ineligible to play baseball.
Despite tangible evidence and documented testimony from others of Rose’s actual involvement in the act of gambling on baseball that was made public, he refused to admit his guilt for 15 years until he came clean publicly in 2004.
Therefore, it’s understandable why Rose received his banishment from the game and why he has not been successful in getting reinstated. But Jackson? That’s another story.
Jackson, broke into the big leagues back in 1908 with 124 other players, eight of whom, like him, played 13 years or more, and one of those, John Franklin “Home Run” Baker, is a Hall of Famer. Baker, who launched only 96 round-trippers during the “dead ball era”, had a career lifetime slash of .307/.363/.442. In comparison, Jackson’s career lifetime slash is .326/.423/.517.
Looks pretty “Hall of Famish” to me.
I believe I’ve made a compelling case on Jackson’s behalf, and it’s time to let Shoeless Joe truly rest in peace and for justice to prevail. It would be an honorable act by MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred to posthumously reinstate Jackson before the Early Baseball Committee of the National Baseball Hall of Fame meets in 2020 so that he can be considered for induction into the said Hall of Fame.
Anything to the contrary is a criminal act in and of itself and flies in the face of what is righteous and fair, both of which are what makes the game of baseball a great sport, and our nation a wonderful place to live.
Be the jury and give me your thoughts. Did I make a compelling case, or should Jackson’s fate remain status quo?
“Say it’s so, Joe!”