DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Shoeless Joe Jackson
-American baseball player
Joseph Jefferson Jackson (July 16, 1887 – December 5, 1951), nicknamed “Shoeless Joe”, was an American star outfielder who played Major League Baseball (MLB) in the early 1900s. He is remembered for his performance on the field and for his alleged association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. As a result of Jackson’s association with the scandal, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Major League Baseball’s first commissioner, banned Jackson from playing after the 1920 season despite exceptional play in the 1919 World Series, leading both teams in several statistical categories and setting a World Series record with 12 base hits. Since then, Jackson’s guilt has been fiercely debated with new accounts claiming his innocence, urging Major League Baseball to reconsider his banishment. As a result of the scandal, Jackson’s career was abruptly halted in his prime, ensuring him a place in baseball lore.
DEATH: As he aged, Jackson began to suffer from heart trouble. In 1951, at the age of 64, Jackson died of a heart attack. He was the first of the eight banned players to die, and is buried at Woodlawn Memorial Park in Greenville. Prior to his death, he was scheduled to be interviewed on television to set the record straight about reports that he was living in poverty, but died before the interview could take place. He had no children, but he and his wife raised two of his nephews.