Joseph "Shoeless Joe" Jackson
A Major League Player
Jackson's illiteracy haunted him for his entire career. When he first joined the Philadelphia Athletics, team members took him to an upscale restaurant and told him he could drink from the finger bowl, which he did. Humiliated upon learning of the trick, he jumped a train and ran away the next day. He left the team a second time in 1908, his first full season. Manager Connie Mack was sympathetic to Jackson's plight and the teasing he took from his mostly Northern teammates. Mack offered to hire a tutor for him, but Jackson was too embarrassed to accept.
Jackson was traded to the Cleveland Indians in 1910 and played with the team until 1915. During this period, he and his wife Katie, whom he had married in 1908, became more accustomed to life in the North. Although he still took a ribbing about going shoeless, with Katie's support and bolstered by a growing number of fans, he began to accumulate a number of records, and eventually achieved the third-highest lifetime batting average in history, at .356. (Cobb is first with .366, and Rogers Hornsby is second with.358.) Jackson invested carefully and earned extra income by making appearances on the vaudeville stage.
- Joseph "Shoeless Joe" Jackson - Black Sox Scandal
- Joseph "Shoeless Joe" Jackson - Humble Beginnings
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