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Should "Shoeless Joe" be Reinstated into Baseball

Some of the most sensational stories of historical events have often involved gambling, and the story of Joseph Jefferson Jackson is one that can be listed in the Hall-of-Fame of Gambling Stories. (Safe Online Gaming might just create such a list for our readers.)

Joseph Jackson was born in Pickens County, South Carolina, the oldest son of a sharecropper. At 10 years old, he would be bedridden and paralyzed for two months from an attack of the measles. Jackson's story almost ended in 1897, but he was nursed back to health by his mother.

In 1900, when he was 13 years old, his mother was approached by one of the owners of the Brandon Mill, and he started to play for the mill's baseball team. He was the youngest player on the team, and paid just under $3.00 to play each Saturday. Initially, he was a pitcher. However, after breaking another man's arm with a fastball that missed his mark, no one wanted to bat against him. Therefore the team manager banished him into the outfield. Although, his hitting ability made him a celebrity around town. During the early years of baseball, Jackson got his nickname during a game played in Greenville, south Carolina. He had blisters on his foot from a new pair of cleats, so to ease the pain, he took his shoes off before he were to bat. As he was running to third base in his socks, an opposing fan noticed this and shouted, "You shoeless son of a gun, you!" (Yeah right... if a kid did that to our favorite professional team, that's not exactly what the history books would record.) "Shoeless Joe" stuck with him throughout the remainder of his life.

In 1911, Jackson's first full MLB season, he set several rookie records. His .408 batting average that season is a record that still stands and was good for second overall in the league behind Ty Cobb's .419 average. This was one of the few times in baseball history that a +.400 average did not win a batting title. His .468 on-base percentage led the league. The following season, Jackson batted .395 and led the American League in hits, triples, and total bases. On April 20, 1912, Jackson scored the first run in Tiger Stadium. The following year, he would lead the league with 197 hits and a .551 slugging percentage. By 1915, Jackson would b e traded to the Chicago White Sox. in 1917, "Shoeless Joe" and the White Sox would defeat the New York Giants and his .307 batting average would help them win the World Series. In 1918, Jackson missed most of the season because of World War I and working in a shipyard. In 1919, he returned, posting a .351 average during the regular season and a perfect fielding percentage with a .375 batting average in that year's World Series against the Cincinnati Reds who were the underdogs. The following season, the 32-year-old Jackson batted .382. He was having one of his best overall seasons, leading the American League in triples and setting by large margins career marks for home runs, RBIs, and fewest strikeouts per plate appearance when he was suspended, along with seven other members of the White Sox, after allegations surfaced that the team had thrown the previous World Series.

Although Jackson's 12 base hits set a Series record that was not broken until 1964, along with leading both teams with a .375 batting average, committing no errors and throwing out a runner at the plate; Jackson was still accused of accepting a bribe to throw the game helping sports bettors winning a lot of money.

In 1921, a Chicago jury acquitted Jackson and his seven teammates of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, the newly appointed Commissioner of Baseball, imposed a lifetime ban on all eight players. "Regardless of the verdict of juries," Landis declared, "no player that throws a ballgame; no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ballgame; no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are planned and discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball."

Over 100 years later, "Shoeless Joe" Jackson's actions are still up for debate. Did he or didn't he gamble on baseball. Pete Rose would suffer the same fate years later. However, with today's technology, we could easily find out the real answers. Online Casinos is quickly becoming the preferred choice to gamble, and Sports Betting has made watching the games much more exciting.

Unlike the days of "Shoeless Joe", today, there are thousands of sites to play, but it is important to do your research when choosing an online gaming site. Sites like or have all of the thrills of being at a casino in a safe secure environment. For those operators who need a safe online site who need to purchase credits; visit sites like or

In addition to having a great opportunity to win, you don't have to pay for that high priced drink or shell out hundreds of dollars to take a flight which will allow you to have better odds than Cincy when they faced the White Sox in the 1919 World Series. As always, be responsible, and set your limits.

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