Thursday, April 7, 2011
This isn't going to be about Joe Jackson and the Hall of Fame. He should be in and that's all that needs to be said about it. No, this is about going to baseballreference.com and looking at Jackson's statistics and drooling over them like it's 1994 in the Sparta Junior High boy's room and Elle Macpherson is in Sports Illustrated.
We did it with Walter Johnson and Rogers Hornsby, and now we take a look at Shoeless Joe, who at one point in his career ate a shoe, according to legend.
1911 was a very good year
Hard to imagine this slash line-.408/.468/.560- for Jackson wasn't enough to win him the MVP (known then as the Chalmers Award), but that honor went to all-around nice fellow Ty Cobb, who nipped Jackson in a number of categories, including average (.420), slugging (.621) and OPS (1.088 to Jackson's 1.058). Jackson not only didn't win the MVP, he finished FOURTH, as his future teammates with the Whitesox-Ed Walsh and Eddie Collins-finished second and third, respectively.
I didn't win in '13 either
Jackson had another absurd year with the Cleveland Naps in 1913 (.373/.460/.551, led league in OPS at 1.011), but finished second to Walter Johnson, who put together a pedestrian 36-7 record with a 1.14 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP and walked 38 in 346 innings pitched. Can't believe the Senators brought that bum back for the 1914 season.
We got Roth!
In August of 1915, Cleveland traded Jackson to the Whitesox for Ed Klepfer, Braggo Roth and $31,500. Safe to say, it turned out to be a good trade for both teams. Chicago got one of the best hitters in the game and the Naps got $31,500 to spend on a statue of Ed Klepfer for Ed Klepfer Day. Unfortunately, Ed Klepfer Day was canceled due to lack of statue. Jackson would put up a 130 OPS+ in 45 games with Chicago in '15, then had five great seasons to end his career.
Something happened in the World Series in 1919
Jackson and seven of his teammates were accused of throwing the '19 series against Cincinnati, were later acquitted of conspiracy charges, but were thrown out of baseball after the 1920 season. In his final season, Jackson put up a .382/.444/.589 line before the lifetime ban. MTD suffered a similar fate in 2003 when he put together a 76-home run wiffle ball season and then during the 76th HR celebration he removed his pants and was banned from the Jensen's backyard for life.