Nearly ninety years have passed since America was rocked by the biggest sports scandal of the twentieth century: the alleged fixing of the 1919 World Series by the Chicago “Black Sox.” Eight ballplayers from one of the greatest teams ever were banished from baseball forever—despite being found innocent in a court of law—foremost among them the legendary Joseph Jefferson Jackson, “Shoeless Joe,” who maintained his innocence until his death.
Now, in Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball, Harvey Frommer weaves oral history, court testimony, and sparkling narrative together to re-create the life and times of the illiterate farm boy who became one of the greatest players in baseball history. To read this riveting story is to rediscover a sport and a nation at a crossroads in a time marked by larger-than-life characters, the First World War, and the great pilgrimage from the country to the city.
But this is more than an in-depth biography; it is an impassioned but reasoned argument for a reevaluation of this misunderstood man, and it raises new questions about the entire Black Sox scandal. Included for the first time ever is Jackson’s sworn grand jury testimony, complete and unaltered.