A bittersweet moment in Ty Cobb's life reportedly came in the late 1940s when he and sportswriter Grantland Rice were returning from the Masters golf tournament. Stopping at a Greenville, South Carolina liquor store, Cobb noticed that the man behind the counter was "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who had been banned from baseball almost 30 years earlier following the Black Sox Scandal. But Jackson did not appear to recognize him, and finally Cobb asked, "Don't you know me, Joe?" "Sure I know you, Ty," replied Jackson, "but I wasn't sure you wanted to know me. A lot of them don't."

Stefan Jovanovich adds: 

Given the fact the Jackson remained a respected figure of the community and the liquor store was owned by Jackson and his wife and his name was above the door, the story could be one of Grantland Rice's maudlin inventions. For the people of his home town, Greeenville, SC, Jackson always was a figure of respect.

The site shoelessjoejackson.org has a link to the PDF of Furman Bisher's interview with Jackson — the only one he ever gave. Eliot Asinof's book (the one John Sayles relied on for Eight Men Out) is a very large pile of crap which completely ignores Bisher's interview and the Jackson's own grand jury testimony. If Jackson had, in fact, been guilty, it is hardly likely he would have prevailed on the civil suit against Comiskey for his pay for the 1920 and 1921 seasons.

Apologies to all — this subject always gets my dander up. During the series Jackson had 12 hits (a Series record) and a .375 batting average—the best record for a player on either team. He had no errors and threw out a runner at the plate. The principal "proof" against him was that the Reds had hit a number of triples to left field (where Jackson played) because Jackson deliberately dogged it in running the balls down. None of the contemporary newspaper accounts mention ANY triples being hit to left field by the Reds. Once again, the lies run round the world while the truth is still putting its boots on.

Thanks, Bill, for bringing up one the 10 greatest ball players of all time.


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