1998 Joe Jackson Related News
Baseball bullet image "Shoeless Joe" For The Hall of Fame Night held in Greenville, SC
Greenville businessman John Burgess hosted the evening dinner to promote the movement to have Joe Jackson reinstated into Major League Baseball and to eventually enshine him in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

The dinner was held at the Greenville Pointsett Club by invitation only on Monday November 23, 1998 and was attended by 200 plus Jackson supporters.

Jackson gained the support of two prominent South Carolina politicians, Gov.-elect Jim Hodges who was present and told the crowd that he supports those who are trying to correct what he called "a wrong that should be righted" and called Jackson "the finest contribution we've ever made to Major League Baseball." A representative of Sen. Ernest Hollings read a letter Hollings has sent to baseball commissioner Bud Selig in support of the Jackson cause. Hollings called the attempt to return Jackson to baseball's good graces "an issue of great importance not only to me but to the people of South Carolina."

Among the many Jackson supporters attending the dinner were Buzz Hamon, director of the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame museum in Hernando, Florida, Louis Hegeman, a Chicago attorney representing Ted Williams in discussions with Major League Baseball on behalf of Joe. Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who supports the Jackson movement served as master of cermonies for the dinner. Ted Williams spoke to the dinner crowd live via video hookup. Williams was presented the first Shoeless Joe Jackson Society Award for outstanding contributions to the game, humanity and the American way of life. The award was presented by the host John Burgess, who as a kid received batting instructions from Jackson and was Jackson's newspaper boy. Others attending the dinner where several former Major League baseball players, numerous state and local politicians and about a dozen members of the Jackson family. (Excerpts from Mike Hembree and Dan Foster, The Greenville News)

Baseball bullet image Shoeless Joe Jackson pieces highlight Christie's East sale.
The November 3rd 1998 Christie's East auction featured a grouping of 30 lots from the estate of Joe Jackson including letters between Joe and AL President Ban Johnson and Commissioner Landis regarding possible reinstatement of Jackson into baseball's good graces. The grouping included a pair of letters from Landis essentially denying Jackson's request for reinstatement which brought $19,550.00 and another grouping of letters from Joe brought $9775.00. A group of 15 personal photographs brought in $7475.00, a letter to Jackson concerning his suit against Charles Comiskey netted $11,500.00, a Jackson signed mortgage note hammered down at $20,700.00. One of Joe's driver's license that was actually signed by Joe hammered down for $14,950.00. All in all the Christie's East auction was somewhat of a disappointment in that the total sales were only $1.3 million and the Jackson lots only accounted for 10 percent of these sales.

Baseball bullet image The Virtual Hall of Fame in Tuff Stuff magazine.
The September 1998 issue of Tuff Stuff magazine features a five page article on Joe. The article talks mostly about the value of Joe Jackson memorabilia. The last page of the article lists the Virtual Hall of Fame as the all-encompassing Joe Jackson site on the Internet. The last page of the article even takes the Joe Jackson Timeline section of our site and puts it into print.

This is the second time in less than a month that the Virtual Hall of Fame has been listed as the place to go on the Internet for information about Joe.

The other mention was in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which listed our site as the place to go for more information about Joe.

Baseball bullet image The South Carolina Legislature PASSES legislation asking for reinstatement for Joe.
The South Carolina Legislature passed a resolution to ask the Commissioner of Baseball to reinstate Joe Jackson as a member in good standing in professional baseball. Bill 993 was passed by both Bodies of the Legislature on May 5, 1998.

The primary sponsor of the resolution was J. Verne Smith and was introduced on February 5, 1998 in the Senate.

Baseball bullet image Greenville, South Carolina declares July "Shoeless Joe Jackson Month".
The Honorable Knox White, Mayor of Greenville, South Carolina has declared July 1998 "Shoeless Joe Jackson Month".

There will be a display at City Hall of various Joe Jackson items, including a replica of his famous bat black baseball bat "Black Betsy". Joe was born on July 16, 1888 and this is a fitting tribute to the native son. Details of activities planned during the month of July are still sketchy, but we will update this section as they become available.

Baseball bullet image Ted Williams and SABR host Joe Jackson Symposium
Ted Williams and The Society for American Baseball Research hosted a symposium on Joe Jackson at the Plantation Inn and Golf Resort in Crystal River, Florida on May 29th, 30th and 31st 1998.

The group came together for this three day weekend to say it's time to give the Greenville, SC native back his good name. Members from the Shoeless Joe Jackson Society were present, as well as representatives from the Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame.

Home Box Office was present to tape the proceedings for the Bryant Gumbel series.

During the three day symposium, Williams pointed out "He's served his sentence, all we're asking right now is, 'Is this the thing to do? Is this fair, has he been treated fairly?' We're not saying he should go in the Hall of Fame right away, but can't we at least start talking about it?"

Jack Thompson, brother of "Growing Up With'Shoeless Joe'" author Joe Thompson spoke about Joe Jackson as he knew him. "He was a wonderful person, a real humanitarian, a lot of people don't know that about him. He owned a liquor store, although he didn't drink, and a dry cleaner in Greenville. He was a hard worker who always had time for us kids, he'd always come by and give us pointers and teach us the game. And if there was ever a guy who could have been bitter it was him, but he never showed a trace of it. He made a mistake, but show me someone who hasn't. He should be in the Hall and I think it will happen someday."

Williams, who held court for over an hour on the subject and even told stories during what was supposed to be his break, hopes that day is sooner rather than later.

Baseball bullet image Ted Williams and Bob Feller support Joe Jackson
RALEIGH, N.C. (January 20, 1998 07:31 a.m. EST) -- Two baseball greats are going to bat for the late "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Former Red Sox outfielder Ted Williams and former Indians pitcher Bob Feller petitioned the commissioner's office to clear Jackson's name and make him eligible to join them in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Jackson -- whose career .356 batting average is the third-highest ever -- was one of eight members of the Chicago White Sox accused of conspiring to lose the 1919 World Series in the so-called "Black Sox" scandal. The heavily favored White Sox lost the series to the Reds. The eight were acquitted in court after confessions made to the police were stolen. Still, they were banned from organized baseball. Jackson maintained his innocence until his death in 1951. "He's served his sentence and it's time for baseball to acknowledge his debt is paid and the Hall of Fame Committee on Veterans to list him as a nominee," Williams said in Monday's Total Baseball Daily. "It's time, and it's the right thing to do."

Baseball bullet image Pete Rose asks Major League Baseball for reinstatement
Pete Rose, trying to eliminate the barrier keeping him out of the Hall of Fame, applied Friday for reinstatement to baseball in an attempt to end his lifetime ban. His move may open the door for the Estate of Joe Jackson to ask for reinstatement on behalf of Joe. "Right now, the ball is in their court," Rose said Friday on his nationally syndicated radio show. "I just hope they approach it with an open mind." Baseball's career hits leader said he signed a letter that was faxed to acting commissioner Bud Selig. "He has requested that baseball reinstate him so he can spend the rest of his life in the game he loves," Rose's lawyer, S. Gary Spicer, said.

Selig, who has shown no rush to deal with Rose, said "The matter will be handled in due course," a signal that no decision is likely until next year at the earliest.

"OK, that's what we'll wait for," Rose said. Rose, asked on his show broadcast on the Sportsfan Radio Network about the timing of his appeal, responded, "Is the time right? We don't know if the time is right." "You see how people receive me -- overwhelming support," he said, referring to his many recent public appearances. "I just hope the lords-that-be in baseball see how much the people like me," he said on the show, broadcast from his restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida.

We at the Shoeless Joe Jackson Society hope that Major League baseball will see how much support Joe Jackson has behind him and do the right thing.


Baseball bullet image See our Frequently Asked Questions about Joe Jackson and the Virtual Hall of Fame.

Baseball bullet image Read the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Official Statement concerning Joe.

Baseball bullet image Read the The Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame's Official Statement concerning Joe.

Baseball bullet image Read Joe Jackson's Last Will and Testament

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