Bill Miller over at The On Deck Circle recently visited the Joe Jackson Memorial in Greenville, South Carolina, and took a couple of pictures just for me. Thank you Bill.
The sculpture was created first in clay by Greenville sculptor Doug Young in the lobby of Greenville City Hall where the public could watch its progress from the beginning. This took several months to complete.
When finished it was shipped to a foundry in North Carolina for bronze casting. The dedication & unveiling ceremony held July 13, 2002 included guest speaker Tommy Lasorda and University of SC baseball coach Ray Tanner.
Joseph Jefferson Jackson
Shoeless Joe Jackson
— 1888 – 1951 —
Philadelphia Athletics 1908-1909
Cleveland Naps 1910-1915
Chicago White Socks 1915-1920
Position: Left Field
1919 World Series Batting Average .375
Lifetime Batting Average .356
Third Highest in Baseball History
1911 – Batted .408, Highest Batting Average Ever by a Rookie
1912 – Led American League in Triples
1913 – Led American League in Hits. Slugging Percentage .551
1917 – Led Chicago White Sox to World Series Victory Against New York Giants
Joe Jackson grew up playing textile league baseball in West Greenville, SC. By 1908, he was playing with the Greenville Spinners of the Class D Carolina League. During the first game of a doubleheader, Jackson played in new spikes that caused his feet to blister. In the 2nd game, with the Spinners at bat in the seventh inning, Jackson took off his spikes and walked to the batter’s box. No one noticed he had discarded his shoes until he cracked a hit. As Jackson rounded the bases in his stocking feet, a fan of the opposing team shouted, "You shoeless son-of-a-gun!" A local sportswriter heard the remark and tagged Jackson with the nickname "Shoeless Joe".
At the peak of his career with the Chicago White Sox, Jackson and seven of his teammates were implicated in a conspiracy to lose the 1919 World series. During the Series, Jackson played flawless baseball. He had twelve hits (a World Series record); no errors; the highest batting average (.375); accounted for eleven of twenty runs by the Sox; and hit the only home run in the Series. Though tried and found innocent, all eight players were banned from baseball for life. Until Jackson’s death in 1951, he steadfastly maintained his innocence. He continues to be one of the most publicized and beloved baseball players in the history of the game.