Major League Baseball reconsidering Shoeless Joe


Major League Baseball has issued a decision on the reinstatement of Shoeless Joe Jackson, according to Arlene Marcley, curator of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum downtown.

Marcley said she has received a decision from MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. The announcement will be revealed Tuesday morning on the museum’s official Facebook page.

Manfred took office on Jan. 25. A new commissioner incited new energy in Jackson supporters. The following month, Marcley organized an online petition to encourage Manfred to reconsider Jackson. The petition was followed by five letters requesting Jackson’s reinstatement.

Jackson, a Greenville native, has been banned from Major League Baseball since 1921, when the first MLB commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, barred eight members of the Chicago White Sox for allegedly conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series.

As part of the “Black Sox” scandal, Jackson was accused of accepting a $5,000 bribe to commit errors. A jury acquitted Jackson of those charges in a Chicago court. Yet, Jackson remained banned from baseball until his death in 1951.

His name is still on the MLB ineligible list, which bars him from consideration for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

According to a report from The Cincinnati Enquirer, Manfred plans to decide on the reinstatement of former Cincinnati Reds star Pete Rose by the end of the year. Rose was banned in 1989 for gambling on baseball, an offense he denied until 2004.

Based on their career statistics alone, Jackson and Rose should head directly to Cooperstown if they are reinstated and added to the Hall of Fame ballot. Rose holds career records for hits (4,256) and games played (3,562). Jackson compiled a career batting average of .356 with 529 extra-base hits on 4,981 at-bats. He recorded 785 RBI with an on-base percentage of .423 and a slugging percentage of .517.

However, Jackson and Rose’s Hall of Fame legacy still would be left to the mercy of voters.