by Katie

"I copied Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw. He's the guy who made me a hitter." Babe Ruth


Joseph Jefferson Jackson was born on July 16, 1887, in Pickens County, South Carolina, the first of six boys and two girls. At the age of 13, Jackson began to play ball on the Brandon Mill team. In 1906, at the age of 18, he began his semipro career with the Greenville Near Leaguers. Jackson entered professional baseball with Greenville in 1908. Later, that same year, he married his sweetheart Katherine Wynn and made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Athletics. For his first two years, Jackson was up and down between the minor and the major leagues, playing only ten games with the Athletics. In 1910, Jackson was traded to Cleveland, where he played his first full season. That year, Jackson compiled a .408 batting average, a record that still stands for rookie seasons. In 1915, at the age of 27, Jackson was traded to the Chicago White Sox. In 1917, Joe Jackson led the White Sox, with a batting average of .307, to victory over the New York Giants in the World Series. In 1919, Jackson and the White Sox found themselves back in the running for another World Series ring. Jackson batted .351 during the regular season and .375 in the playoffs. In the World Series, Jackson had a perfect 1.000 fielding average as the White Sox lost to the Cincinnati Reds. The next year while batting .385 and leading the American league in triples, Jackson was suspended after allegations that 8 members of the White Sox threw the previous World Series. In 1921, at the age of 33, a Chicago jury acquitted Jackson of helping to fix the 1919 World Series. However, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis went against the court ruling and committed what amounts to contempt of court and banned Jackson and seven other Chicago players from organized baseball for life. In 1922, Jackson moved to Savannah, Georgia, and opened a dry-cleaning business which became very successful. In 1929, Jackson returned to Greenville, South Carolina, where he lived quietly as the owner of Joe Jackson's Liquor Store. In 1951, at the young age of 63, Joseph Jefferson Jackson suffered a massive heart attack and died at his home on December 5th.


Joe got his name "Shoeless" when he was playing for the Greenville club in 1908. Joe had brought a new pair of spikes and they wore blisters on his feet. The next game the blisters hurt so bad that he took the spikes off and played bare-footed. Although Joe played only one game without his spikes, he would forever be known as "Shoeless Joe".

Joe started out as a pitcher on the mill league team, but he threw the ball so hard that he broke the catchers arm, so they put him in the outfield.

Joe began his professional career with the Greenville Spinners in 1908. His salary was $75.00 a month. Later that year his contract was purchased by the Athletics for $325.00.

Joe owned a bulldog which he named "Beauty." According to friends and family, it was the ugliest little thing you've ever seen!!

Look below for the websites where I got my information!

"Everything he hit was really blessed. He could break bones with his shots. Blindfold me and I could still tell you when Joe hit the ball. It had a special crack." Ernie Shore


Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa: Stories by W.P. Kinsella

Growing up with "Shoeless Joe"; The Greatest Natural Player in Baseball History by E. Joe Thompson

Shoeless Joe & Ragtime Baseball by Harvey Frommer

Say it Ain't So Joe: The True Story of Shoeless Joe Jackson by Donald Gropman

Eight Men Out by Eliot Asinof

Click Here to See More Pictures of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson

**These websites are where I got my information! **

Virtual Hall of Fame

Shoeless Joe Jackson Times

Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams, The Movie

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