U.S. House Backs Shoeless Joe


Eighty years after the World Series that resulted in Shoeless Joe Jackson's lifetime ban from baseball, the House of Representatives passed a resolution Monday calling for him to be honored.

In a measure approved by a voice vote, the House stopped short of calling for his induction into the Hall of Fame, but that was the sentiment during the floor debate. The non-binding resolution now goes to the Senate.

"It is worthy for this body to take a few minutes to stand up for fairness and right an old wrong," said Rep. Jim DeMint, the Republican author of the resolution who represents Jackson's hometown of Greenville, S.C.

Jackson, acquitted of criminal charges with the 1919 Black Sox scandal, was eligible for the Hall of Fame until 1991 but was never voted in either by the Baseball Writers' Association of American or the veterans committee. In 1991, the Hall's board adopted a resolution prohibiting consideration of players on the permanently banned list.

Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspended Jackson and seven others in 1920 because of allegations they took money to let the Cincinnati Reds beat the White Sox.

"It is time for the truth to be told," agreed Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. "This sends a clear message that when we see wrong, we will do what we can to right it."

Jackson's statistics during the 1919 Series were among the best of any player on either side. He was 12-for-32 (.375) with a home run, a team-high six RBIs and no errors.

He was never reinstated and died in 1951 after becoming a successful businessman. The few times he spoke of the scandal, he always maintained his innocence.

Though his career in professional baseball lasted just 13 years, he is still regarded as one of the sport's best players, with a .356 career average, the third-highest.

Commissioner Bud Selig says he is investigating whether Jackson should be reinstated posthumously.

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  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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