1999 Joe Jackson Related News
Baseball bullet image Virtual Hall of Fame Moves To New Web Server.
The Shoeless Joe Jackson Virtual Hall of Fame moved to a more powerful web server on November 27, 1999. The move enables the Virtual Hall to better serve our visitors with faster page loads and more information. For all our techie visitors we now have fully redundant connections to the Internet backbone.
- T3 and OC3 lines to UUNet, Sprint, GTE (BBN) and Chicago NAP (Ameritech).
-State-of-the-art access controlled data center.
-Redundant climate control system with backup HVAC system on stand-by.
-Multiple UPS's (Uninterruptible Power Supply).
-Backup servers and network equipment.
-Central tape backup system.

Baseball bullet image Senate Approves Harkin Resolution Supporting 'Shoeless Joe' Jackson.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 22 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Calling it "a home run for Shoeless Joe," U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) today lauded passage of a Senate Resolution to honor Joseph Jefferson "Shoeless Joe" Jackson for his outstanding baseball accomplishments. The resolution introduced by Harkin in July was co-sponsored by Sens. Fritz Hollings (D-SC) and Strom Thurmond (R-SC).

"Congress is now on record calling for this wrong to be righted," said Harkin. "Little Leaguers all across the country know the story of Shoeless Joe and recognize him as a legend who gave his all to baseball. He was truly one of the greatest players of all time."

Shoeless Joe Jackson has the third highest lifetime batting average of all time and is one of only seven Major League Baseball players to ever top the coveted mark of a .400 batting average for a season. In 1920, "Shoeless Joe" and seven other members of the Chicago Black Sox were accused of accepting bribes to throw the 1919 World Series against Cincinnati Reds. A Chicago jury acquitted Shoeless Joe of any wrongdoing in the 1919 Chicago Black Sox World Series scandal. However, without any hearings or investigations Major League Baseball Commissioner Judge Kenesaw "Mountain" Landis proceeded to ban Shoeless Joe Jackson from playing baseball for the rest of his life.

The story of Shoeless Joe was portrayed in the movie "Field of Dreams," which was filmed primarily in Dyersville, Iowa. The movie has drawn many Iowans to embrace the story of Shoeless Joe. In July, Harkin participated in a parade and throw out the first pitch at the Shoeless Joe Jackson National Baseball Tournament in Dyersville, Iowa -- home of the Field of Dreams.

At Harkin's urging, Baseball Commissioner Alan "Bud" Selig is currently reviewing the Shoeless Joe case to consider whether or not the baseball player can be reinstated to baseball thereby paving the way for Jackson's induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In a June letter to Harkin, Commissioner Selig reaffirmed a commitment to be objective and fair in his evaluation of the case.

"The House hit a home run, and the Senate knocked one out of the park today. Now it is time for Major League Baseball to step up to the plate," said Harkin. "The resolution calls on Major League Baseball to recognize Shoeless Joe for his outstanding work and accomplishments in baseball. Shoeless Joe's record as a star player on the baseball field is unquestionable. His efforts helped make baseball America's favorite past-time. Shoeless Joe should be recognized for giving his all to the game."

Baseball bullet image Senate passes nonbinding resolution on behalf of Joe.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate backed a nonbinding resolution saying baseball legend "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, suspended from the game for life for taking bribes to throw the 1919 World Series, should be honored for his on-field accomplishments.
The resolution, already approved by the House, adds more fuel to a movement that advocates Jackson's ban be overturned and he be admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Baseball bullet image House Supports 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The movement to restore the tarnished baseball legend of "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, suspended from the game for life for taking bribes to throw the 1919 World Series, gained support Monday from an unlikely source -- the U.S. House of Representatives.

The House, on a voice vote, endorsed a non-binding resolution saying Jackson should be honored for his on-field accomplishments. The vote adds more fuel to a movement, supported by Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams, that advocates Jackson's ban be overturned and he be admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jackson, one of only seven major league players to hit .400 for a season and owner of a .356 lifetime batting average, the third-highest of all time, was banned from the major leagues for life for taking bribes while playing for the Chicago White Sox in the 1919 World Series.

But supporters argue there was no evidence he ever did anything to lose a game. Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig has agreed to investigate whether Jackson was involved in the "Black Sox" scandal or should be eligible for admission to the Hall of Fame.

Baseball bullet image House calls for Shoeless Joe to enter Hall of Fame.
WASHINGTON(AP) - Eighty years after the World Series that resulted in Shoeless Joe Jackson's lifetime ban from baseball, the House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday calling for him to be honored.

In a measure approved by a voice vote, the House stopped short of calling for his induction into the Hall of Fame, but that was the sentiment during the floor debate. The non-binding resolution now goes to the Senate.

"It is worthy for this body to take a few minutes to stand up for fairness and right an old wrong,'' said Rep. Jim DeMint, the Republican author of the resolution who represents Jackson's hometown of Greenville, S.C.

Jackson, acquitted of criminal charges with the 1919 Black Sox scandal, was eligible for the Hall of Fame until 1991 but was never voted in either by the Baseball Writers' Association of American or the veterans committee.

In 1991, the Hall's board adopted a resolution prohibiting consideration of players on the permanently banned list.

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Jackson and seven others in 1920 because of allegations they took money to let the Cincinnati Reds beat the White Sox.

"It is time for the truth to be told,'' agreed Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. "This sends a clear message that when we see wrong, we will do what we can to right it.''

Jackson's statistics during the 1919 Series were among the best of any player on either side. He was 12-for-32 (.375) with a home run, a team-high six RBIs and no errors.

He was never reinstated and died in 1951 after becoming a successful businessman. The few times he spoke of the scandal, he always maintained his innocence.

Though his career in professional baseball lasted just 13 years, he is still regarded as one of the sport's best players, with a .356 career average, the third-highest.

Commissioner Bud Selig says he is investigating whether Jackson should be reinstated posthumously.

Baseball bullet image Congressman Jim DeMint of Greenville, SC introduces Joe Jackson resolution.
Congressman Jim DeMint of Greenville, SC has introduced a "sense of Congress" resolution that Shoeless Joe's name be honored and his reputation restored. It is a non-binding resolution to encourage Congress to honor the tremendous feats of Shoeless Joe. Congressman DeMint hopes this will continue to raise the profile for restoring the honor of "Shoeless" Joe. H.Res. 269 (honoring Shoeless Joe) has 17 cosponsors in Congress. This includes the entire South Carolina delegation, as well as Members from throughout the country............ way to go Congressman DeMint!!!

Baseball bullet image South Carolina Congressmen Write Letter of Support.
A letter of support for Joe Jackson was sent by the entire South Carolina Congressional Delegation to Commissioner Bud Selig in September of 1999. Read the letter here in it's entirety.

Baseball bullet image Joe finishes 12th in All Century Team balloting.
Joe Jackson finished up in 12 place for the All Century Team. Joe received 326,415 votes finishing up behind Ruth (11,58,044), who led the outfielders, followed by Aaron (1,156,782), Williams (1,125,583), Mays (1,115,896), Joe DiMaggio (1,054,423), Mickey Mantle (988,168), Ty Cobb (777,056), Griffey (645,389) and Rose (629,742).

Roberto Clemente (582,937) was 10th, followed by Musial (571,279) 11th, then Joe. 12th is not bad for a guy who hasn't played Major League baseball since 1920, supposedly threw the 1919 World Series and has been dead since 1951.

We think the fans of Major League Baseball are trying to send Bud Selig and gang a message, we just hope they're paying attention. Come on Mr. Selig, the fans have spoken, it's time to do the right thing.

Baseball bullet image Joe Jackson items among items on display at the Hall as part of the Barry Halper Collection.
In its final major exhibition of the millennium, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum has opened the much-anticipated Barry Halper Gallery, which opened on Thursday, September 2. The Barry Halper Gallery is named in honor of one of Baseball's greatest individual collectors of memorabilia and is among the largest exhibit areas in the Museum at more than 1,100 square feet. Funding for the construction of the Gallery was provided by a grant from the Yawkey Foundation II.

"Memories of a Lifetime: The Barry Halper Collection," the first exhibit featured in the Barry Halper Gallery, will be on display through the summer of 2001; thereafter, the Gallery will serve as a changing exhibits showcase. "Memories of a Lifetime: The Barry Halper Collection" includes several intriguing Baseball subjects and contains a number of related significant artifacts acquired from the Halper collection, which are now part of the Hall of Fame's permanent collections.

There are several items of Joe Jackson's on display in the collection, the items are listed below.
    • Joe Jackson uniform
    • Joe Jackson "Black Betsy" bat
    • Joe Jackson 1919 pocket watch
    • Joe Jackson glove

Baseball bullet image Joe named to MLB All Century Team ballot
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and representatives of MasterCard International on Tuesday July 13, 1999 announced the names of the 100 Major League Baseball players that will be placed on a ballot for fan voting to determine the MasterCard MLB All-Century Team. Joe Jackson was named as one of those players in the running for the All Century Team.

Baseball bullet image Unique Mix Supports Joe Jackson
By Jeff Bersch, Dubuque Telegraph Herald, July 4, 1999
Honor: Politicians, former players unite in Dyersville
"Shoeless Joe Jackson, your name is healed. Heaven is baseball in an Iowa corn field."
Billy Goerdt, in his song, "Ballad of Shoeless Joe"

DYERSVILLE, Iowa - After popularizing his plight 10 years ago in the movie "Field of Dreams," a unique mix of politics and baseball came out Saturday to Commercial Club Park in support of Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Presidential hopefuls Bill Bradley and John Kasich, as well as Hall of Famer Bob Feller made their pitches at the Shoeless Joe Jackson National Baseball Tournament before and after a celebrity softball game with the Field of Dreams ghost players.

"He's the third greatest hitter in history," said Feller, a native of Van Meter, Iowa. "He deserves to be in there."

Jackson, who was banned from baseball after being accused of throwing the 1919 World Series while playing for the Chicago White Sox, hit .375 during the Series. He had the series' lone home run and set a then-record with 12 hits against the Cincinnati Reds. He also made no errors.

"Those aren't the stats of someone throwing a World Series," said Sen. Tom Harkin, who helped launch the celebrity game and has asked baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to reopen the case.

"Anyway you look at it, Joesph Jefferson Jackson didn't do anything but play hard in that 1919 World Series."

Jackson was later acquitted of any charges in the criminal scandal, but never was reinstated into baseball.

"I think there should be a re-evaluation," Bradley said. "Bud Selig's going to do that. He'll review the evidence and then he'll decide.

"I'd like to see what the commissioner has to say. A lot of the facts run counter to the idea that he was guilty. It should be re-evaluated."

Bradley was the hit - and had a big hit - in the celebrity softball game. Leading off the second inning, Bradley surprised everyone with a towering shot over the left fielder's head that he legged out for an inside-the-park home run. It gave the celebrities a 2-0 lead.

"Sometimes you get lucky," said Bradley, adding that he hadn't swung a bat in about 15 years. "It's a great day. It's a great community. A lot of people are out here having a good time, and that's what it's about."

Former Iowa State and Dubuque Senior basketball coach Johnny Orr introduced Feller, who opened the celebrity game by throwing out the first pitch. "I won't bounce it," he promised. And he didn't, although he has lost a little of the "Heater from Van Meter" over the years.

After the Ghost Players made their entrance from behind the right field fence, Harry Carey impersonator Matt Wagner introduced both squads in that raspy voice baseball fans loved.

Former Iowa basketball star Jess Settles and former Iowa State standout Fred Hoiberg, now with the Indiana Pacers, were among the celebrities. Jack Ditmer, who played with the Boston and Milwaukee Braves and the Detroit Tigers was on hand, as was former Baltimore Orioles pitcher and 1958 All-Star Game MVP Billy O'Dell.

While the Ghost Players were putting on a exhibition, the celebrity team was putting up runs.

After giving the Ghost Players a 5-2 lead, the celebrities bounced back with a couple of big innings.

Terry Vaske, who played four years of minor league baseball with the Chicago Cubs' and Atlanta Braves' farm systems, belted the game's only home run that left the park, in the fifth to give the celebrities a 12-6 lead. They went on to a 15-8 victory.

After the game the talk was still focused on Jackson.

"I have only one goal in sports this year," Harkin said. "And that's to get Shoeless Joe Jackson re-instituted into baseball. We're going to do everything we can to lift the cloud around Shoeless Joe Jackson.

"We're going to answer (Jackson's) question in 'Field of Dreams.'

"'Is this heaven?' Yeah, it is Joe. And you're in the Hall of Fame."

Baseball bullet image Greenville, SC, steps up to the plate for Shoeless Joe Jackson !
Mayor Knox White has proclaimed July as "Shoeless Joe Jackson Month" in the City of Greenville. An exhibit highlighting Jackson's personal life and baseball career will be open to the public at Greenville (SC) City Hall, July 1 through July 30. The exhibit will be open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The only weekend the exhibit will be open is over July 4th: Saturday, July 3, 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday, July 4th, 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Included in the exhibit are numerous photographs, a 12-minute historic video about Joe, original fan letters, a bronze statue, and other items of interest to Jackson fans.

On Friday, July 9, the public is invited to "An Interview with Joe," starring Tom McDowell as an aging Joe Jackson. The event will take place at noon in the lobby of Greenville City Hall.

There is no admission to the exhibit and presentation. For further information, contact Arlene Marcley, marclea@greatergreenville.com.

Baseball bullet image Shoeless Joe Jackson National Tournament Was Held In Dyersville, IA July 1 - 4.
On July 1, 1999, in the "Field of Dreams" country known as Dyersville, Iowa, a baseball spectacular occurred. The four day event, known as the Shoeless Joe Jackson National Tournament, celebrated not only the birth of America, but commemorated America's favorite pastime, baseball.

The focal point of this event was the reinstatement of Shoeless Joe Jackson into Major League Baseball and eventually into Baseball's Hall of Fame. A 16-team tournament, featuring an elite array of American Legion Baseball Teams and representing various regions of the United States was played during the four day event.

Baseball bullet image Selig to catch Ted's pitch for 'Shoeless' Joe.
Chicago Sun-Times article, June 1, 1999
Bud Selig is about to find out if Ted Williams can pitch.

The baseball commissioner has a meeting with Boston's Hall of Fame hitter after Williams comes to New York to throw out the first pitch for the Red Sox' game against the Mets on June 11.

Williams has been campaigning for "Shoeless" Joe Jackson (above), the former White Sox star banned from baseball in the wake of the 1919 Black Sox scandal. He would like Jackson eligible to be considered for Hall of Fame voting.

At .356, Jackson has baseball's third-highest career batting average. Jackson's supporters contend his lifetime ban should be over because he died in 1951.

Persuaded by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Selig said last week he would review the case.

"As far as I'm concerned, it's kept [Williams] going these past five years," Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame director Buzz Hamon told the Wall Street Journal.

Williams, 80, has had health problems that have forced him to attend Hall of Fame festivities in a wheelchair.

"He talks about [Jackson] every day," Hamon said. "He says, `Damn it, I'm gonna keep it going until I'm gone.' "

Hopefully, Williams won't be gone until long after Jackson joins him in Cooperstown.

Baseball bullet image It's so! Shoeless Joe to get a new chance.
BY LYNN SWEET, Chicago Sun-Times, May 29, 1999
WASHINGTON--There may be a comeback for Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, at the request of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), is reviewing the file of the Chicago White Sox outfielder who was banned from baseball after being accused, with seven teammates, of throwing the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds.

Jackson was kicked out of baseball for life even though he was acquitted of criminal charges in the Black Sox scandal.

"Major League Baseball has a real opportunity to correct an injustice," Harkin said Friday in a prepared statement. "It's never too late to right a wrong."

Harkin wants Jackson in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

"It is a very tragic story," Selig wrote in his reply to Harkin's appeal for Jackson's reinstatement. "And I certainly will try to be objective as well as fair, in evaluating the entire file."

The saga of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his Black Sox teammates inspired the movie "Eight Men Out" and a poem by Chicagoan Nelson Algren, "Swede Is a Hard Guy." Jackson was a character in the novel Shoeless Joe, which was adapted for the screen as "Field of Dreams."

There is even a World Wide Web "Virtual Hall of Fame" site named after Jackson's bat (www.blackbetsy.com), assembled by people trying to get Jackson reinstated so he can be elected to the Hall of Fame.

Harkin started lobbying Selig in March because "the issue is of great importance to my constituents, the people of Iowa, as well as baseball fans across America."

Iowans embraced Shoeless Joe's cause because much of "Field of Dreams" was filmed in their state, Harkin said.

Senators Strom Thurmond (R-N.C.) and Earnest "Fritz" Hollings (D-S.C.) also asked Selig to review Jackson's case.

Jackson was born in 1888 in Brandon Mills, S.C. He played from 1908 through 1920 for the Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians and the White Sox. The outfielder had a .356 lifetime batting average.

Jackson was brought to the White Sox in 1915 by team owner Charles Comiskey.

Cincinnati, not the favorite, won the 1919 World Series against the White Sox.

A Chicago grand jury a year later indicted eight White Sox players on charges of conspiring with professional gamblers to throw the games.

Jackson signed a confession. He supposedly took as much as $5,000 to throw the games, but he hit .375 in the World Series, the best batting average in the Series.

While several of the eight did throw the Series, "there are those who believe that Jackson's confession was bogus," said Jack Torry, author of Endless Summers: The Fall and Rise of the Cleveland Indians.

"He may have been more worried about appearing to double-cross the gamblers than he was of being thrown out of baseball."

Jackson went on to play semipro ball in the 1920s, ran a liquor store in Greenville, S.C., and all along maintained his innocence.

"I never shirked and I never did anything but play my best. Maybe I ran with the wrong players, but, hell, I had to run with somebody," he said in a 1939 interview.

All eight players eventually were cleared of criminal charges. Nevertheless, they were kicked out of baseball in 1921 by Kenesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's first commissioner, whose mission was to clean up the game after the Black Sox scandal.

Jackson died in 1951.

Compiled by Stephen Nidetz, The Chicago Tribune, May 29, 1999
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig is "reviewing the entire file" of banned White Sox outfielder "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, Sen. Tom Harkin said Friday. Harkin (D-Iowa) wrote to Selig in March, asking him to reinstate Jackson to baseball, a move that would make him eligible for the Hall of Fame.

Harkin became interested in the case after the movie "Field of Dreams," in which Jackson is a central character, was filmed in his state. He asked Selig look at the records again, and Friday he released Selig's response.

Baseball bullet image Sen. Strom Thurmond writes letter in support of Joe.
Senator Strom Thurmond, Republican, South Carolina has added his name to the supporters of Joe Jackson by sending a letter to the Commissioner of Baseball, Bud Selig. The letter dated Feb. 26, 1999 can be read in full here.

This is a very powerful message to baseball and comes from the country's longest-serving senator and one of the most respected members of Congress. Thurmond's letter comes just months after South Carolina's "junior" senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings wrote Selig in support of Joe's reinstatement.

Baseball bullet image Sen. Tom Harkin Goes To Bat For Joe
Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat, Iowa is lobbying for the reinstatement of Joe Jackson into the good graces of major league baseball - and then wants the former great enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. "This issue is of great importance to my constituents, the people of Iowa, as well as baseball fans across America," Harkin wrote Tuesday (March 30, 1999) to Bud Selig, the commissioner of baseball.

Now Harkin, better known as a champion of the disabled and for efforts to fight child labor, wants to do his part to immortalize Jackson. In his letter to Selig, he wrote that Jackson's "athletic abilities on the diamond were unmatched, and the dignity he brought to the game was vital to baseball's growing popularity."

For some time now, the Society has been soliciting the help of lawmakers in the effort to get Joe reinstated. In November of 1998, Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings, a South Carolina Democrat, also sent a letter of support to Selig. We thank Senator Harkin for taking the time out of his busy schedule to write the letter and we know Joe would appreciate his efforts as well.

Baseball bullet image Joe Jackson items headed for Cooperstown.
The most famous baseball memorabilia collection on the planet, the treasured accumulation of Barry Halper is headed for auction and Major League Baseball has purchased a portion of the collection for a reported $5 million, with all of the items earmarked for eventual permanent display at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Some of the items headed to Cooperstown are items that once belonged to Joe, one of his game used baseball bats is headed to Cooperstown, along with the jersey he wore in the 1919 World Series and the last MLB contract he signed. These are great additions to the Hall's museum, but they are hollow additions without Joe's plaque in the Hall across the way.


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