Ninety five years ago, Shoeless Joe Jackson was banned from baseball along with a group of other Chicago White Sox players for their role in the infamous 1919 “Black Sox” scandal, in which Jackson and co. conspired to throw the World Series in exchange for cash.
On Monday, news broke that the MLB was possibly considering reinstating Jackson, who died in 1951, after a push from a Greenville, S.C. (Jackson’s hometown) resident and curator of the Shoeless Joe Jackson museum.
However, on Tuesday, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has shut down the possibility of Jackson being reinstated. Hall of Very Good received a copy of Manfred’s response to the museum curator, Arlene Marcley, which reads in part:
“I have reviewed our records concerning the responses of both Commissioner (Bart) Giamatti and Commissioner (Fay) Vincent, who declined to reconsider Mr. Jackson’s case…I agree with that determination and conclude that it would not be appropriate for me to re-open the matter.”
It looks like Manfred isn’t really making a decision himself, but instead just relying on his predecessors Fay Vincent and Bart Giamatti’s prior decisions about Jackson’s case. Giamatti previously declined Jackson’s reinstatement back in 1989, but that was more than a quarter-century ago.
If he was reinstated, Jackson’s numbers would certainly put him in the conversation for a Hall of Fame inclusion, as he hit .356/.423/.517 in his 13-year career before his ban.
Marcley wasn’t pleased with the decision, telling Hall of Very Good:
…with regard to ‘Shoeless’ Joe, Mr. Manfred is depending on the judgment of his predecessors who did not have the benefit of the knowledge we now have about the cover-up of the 1919 World Series. Mr. Manfred does not have to determine whether Joe Jackson was guilty or innocent. Jackson has been banned for 94 years and he died 63 years ago. All Mr. Manfred has to do is simply state that Major League Baseball no longer has jurisdiction over Joe Jackson and remove his name from the ineligible list.
For those who hoped Jackson would one day be reinstated, having a new commissioner was probably the best chance of that, but it appears as though Manfred isn’t really interested in looking too much into it.
Similarly to Jackson, there has been a significant push for Pete Rose’s ban to be lifted, but it really remains to be seen how forgiving Manfred will be when it comes to banned players. Although Rose and Jackson’s crimes against baseball are much different, Manfred’s decision on Shoeless Joe probably doesn’t bode well for the all-time hits leader.
Via: Hall of Very Good