Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Review of "Shoeless Joe & Me," by Dan Gutman

Review of

Shoeless Joe & Me, by Dan Gutman ISBN 9780064472593

Five out of five stars

 One of the great unfortunate events of major league baseball is the case of the man known as Shoeless Joe Jackson. While he was otherwise intelligent, he was completely illiterate to the point of not even being able to sign his name. Yet, he was likely one of the most naturally talented players of all time. His throwing arm may have been the best to ever appear, there are confirmed legends as to how far he could throw a baseball.

 Even though no one ever made a credible claim that Jackson did anything to throw the 1919 World Series, he was caught up in the scandal and banned from baseball for life. His “crime” was having knowledge of the attempt to lose and not reporting it. Which was incorrect, for he did report it to the owner of the White Sox at the time, the notorious tightwad Charles Comiskey.

 This story once again has the title character (Joe Stoshack) capable of traveling back and forth through time by clutching period baseball cards. His subject this time is Shoeless Joe Jackson and his actual role in the Black Sox scandal. It is a great history of this event, anyone with knowledge of the case understands that a great injustice was done to Joe Jackson and he deserves to be in the baseball Hall of Fame.

 The Gutman books are an excellent way to learn baseball history, they set aside the legends and deal with the facts of the players. If you don’t come away from reading this book thinking that Joe Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame, then you have no heart. For it is clear that he was an innocent man caught up in a storm of “throwing the rascals out.”

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