Did you know that “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was traded this week in 1915 for three players and cash? At the time Jackson was 26-years old and a member of the Cleveland Naps. The team was starving for cash and traded away their young star to the Chicago White Sox for Robert Roth, Larry Chappell, Ed Klepfer, and $31,500. That money would be worth $726,835.99 today.
Jackson was born in 1889 in Pickens County, S.C. In 1907 he signed a contract worth $75.00 per month to play baseball for the Class D (minor leagues) Greenville Spinners. With his new club he got new baseball spikes but they gave him blisters. So he played in his stockings. This is where he got the nickname is “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
The following year, Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics signed him to a $325.00 contract. In 1909, Mack traded Jackson to Cleveland because he was unable to get along with his teammates. In his early seasons with Cleveland, Jackson hit .387 (1910), .408 (1911 rookie season in the majors), .and 395 (1912). In 1912 Jackson had the very first hit in Tiger Stadium in Detroit.
As a member of the White Sox, Jackson was outstanding. He hit .272, .341, .301, .354, .351 and .382 before his lifetime baseball ban in 1920.
In 1919, Jackson and Chicago lost to the Cincinnati Reds in the World Series. Eight White Sox players, including Jackson, were accused of throwing the series for $5,000 (each). Still, Jackson banged out a dozen hits (World Series record) versus the Reds, had no errors and even threw a runner out a home plate.
Jackson is considered one of the greatest baseball players of any era. He finished his 13 year career with a batting average of .356, third highest in baseball history.
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