Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Baseball Hall of Fame

Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Baseball Hall of Fame

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Jennifer Greening started this petition to Baseball Hall of Fame and

Shoeless Joe Jackson was a member of the infamous Chicago “Black Sox,” a group of eight Chicago White Sox players found to be allegedly in agreement with gamblers in a fix to throw the 1919 World Series. The White Sox lost the series five games to three in a best-of-nine competition against the Cincinnati Reds. Many people in the organization, including team owner Charles Comiskey, who is a current member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, knew about the alleged fix and did nothing to prevent it from happening.

Nearly a year later in 1920, towards the end of the season and after seven of the eight players known to be involved had signed contracts from 1920-1922, the cover-up came undone. Three players, including Jackson, came forth and told a grand jury everything they knew of the scandal. There was an immediate suspension of the players as well as an investigation and trial, concluding in summer 1921, which found all players “not guilty.”

Less than a day later, newly founded and appointed Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis declared an edict, stating these players will be banned for life.

Shoeless Joe Jackson died on December 5th, 1951.

The Baseball Hall of Fame has since declared that any player deemed “ineligible” by Major League Baseball will thereby be ineligible for the Hall of Fame. According to many sources from Major League Baseball, however, Jackson’s banishment ended on December 5th, 1951, when he died suddenly of a heart attack in his own home.

According to Major League Baseball sources, they cannot “reinstate” a player if there is no player to reinstate.

At the news of this, the Baseball Hall of Fame decided still, and without reason, that Jackson should not be eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Shoeless Joe Jackson has achieved incredible feats and contributed immensely to the game of baseball in his shortened career. His notorious albeit ambiguous involvement in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal is still debated today, with many claiming he didn’t do anything to throw the games himself. While he admitted to taking $5,000 from his teammate, he stands by (and his stats support) his argument that he didn’t do anything to cost the series victory.

Regardless, many players and personnel who were involved or knew of the fix have since been elected to the Hall of Fame, but Shoeless Joe Jackson and others remain the scapegoat for the Baseball Hall of Fame to make an example of any players who may or may not have made a mistake in their lifetime.

With the current voting system, Jackson can only be voted into the Hall of Fame once every 10 years. There will be a screening process to determine who gets on the ballot, and then the BBWAA voters will vote the members in this December at the Baseball Winter Meetings. Jackson will not have another chance to be on the ballot until the year 2030.

One hundred years after the scandal, the “black mark” on baseball has faded, and these players deserve to be recognized for the good they have done and the way they have changed the games. I ask that you sign this petition, regardless if you think Jackson is guilty or not guilty, if you believe that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

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