Ross Kelly, CBS Local Sports
While the decision on whether or not to reinstate Pete Rose is always a hot topic within baseball, another banned legend may get reinstated as soon as Tuesday, September 1. ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, who last played in 1920, and passed away in 1951, has been banned since 1921 for his association with the Black Sox scandal. However, commissioner Rob Manfred has reviewed Jackson’s case for reinstatement (which was organized by Arlene Marcley, the curator of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum), and is set to announce a decision.
Here is the message posted on the Facebook page for the museum:
On February 11, 2015, we posted this message: “The museum has sent an official letter to the new baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, requesting that Joe Jackson’s name be removed from MLB’s ineligible list. Stay tuned.” Since then, we have sent Commissioner Manfred four more letters. Check with us tomorrow to find out his decision with regard to clearing Shoeless Joe’s name.
Jackson was an MLB outfielder from 1908-1920 and spent most of that time with the Indians and White Sox. His .356 career batting average ranks third all-time trailing only Ty Cobb (.366) and Rogers Hornsby (.359). In 1921 Jackson and seven other members of the 1919 White Sox team were banned for life for allegedly conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series. Jackson was accused of accepting $5,000 to commit errors in the series and even though he was acquitted by the legal system, MLB has kept him on their banned list.
Based on statistics alone, you would assume that Jackson would be a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame. But in the event that he is reinstated, that doesn’t mean he’ll just (posthumously) waltz into the Hall. His name would appear on the ballot just like every other player who’s eligible to be inducted. He would then have to be ‘accepted’ by the voters of the hall which is not a given. Some baseball purists may not be able to look past the fact that Jackson may have cheated the game and refuse to vote him in. Assuming he is reinstated this should be a good ‘trial run’ for the possible reinstatement of Pete Rose. If Jackson is reinstated and only gets, say, 10% of the votes needed for the hall, then that would be a bad sign for Rose’s chances if he’s reinstated. However, if Jackson is reinstated and gets 90% of the vote, then Rose has to also feel pretty good about his chances – assuming he is reinstated.