Jackson Must Remain Banned Part 2
Yesterday I pointed out many of the inaccuracies propogated on the internet concerning Joe Jackson. I showed how the Black Sox acquittal was not a declaration of their innocence in the fix.
Looking at Jackson's sparkling .375 batting average in the World Series, how can we say he played poorly on purpose? The best source has to be Joe Jackson's voluntary Grand Jury confession. Remember, he turned himself in out of guilt; he was not put to this confession by Charles Comiskey or any lawyer. From Eight Men Out:
"They would give him $20,000 for helping out. It was easy; all he had to do was go along with it; let a ball drop a few feet in front of him; don't hit the big one with men on. He could look good and still play badly. Twenty thousand dollars.
Jackson rambled on for almost two hours. He told the Jury how he hadn't played good baseball, despite his incredible .375 World Series average, and record 12 base hits."
Some say Jackson always maintained innocence - not true. Others insist that his batting average guarantees honest play. As we saw in Jackson's own testimony, a professional ballplayer can easily look good and still not play to the best of his abilities.
Eddie Cicotte was the #1 starter on the team and was an integral part of the fix. But what about his 2.91 ERA? Cicotte is another shining example that statistics can't tell the whole story.
Only the players involved can truly say whether they conspired to lose. And it's indisputable that Joe Jackson admitted to his participation. Eight Men Out is a thorough, well-researched book and is the authority on the subject. Eliot Asinof writes without any agenda. Check it out if you remain unconvinced.
Joe Jackson was an incredible player in his ten full seasons. His .356 batting average and .423 OBP are amazing. But it's just not enough to put a player in the Hall of Fame. With only 1772 hits, Jackson did not have the necessary longevity. That he lacks this longevity due to his own corruption only strengthens the point.
From 1998-2004, Todd Helton had seven incredible seasons. But if his production declines sharply during the rest of his career, he doesn't deserve a free pass to the Hall just because he had a nice peak.