“Shoeless” Joe Jackson - 2003
“Shoeless” Joe Jackson is one of the greatest baseball players the game has known. He started his professional career with the Savannah team after Connie Mack, owner of the Philadelphia Athletics, sent him down for a year of seasoning. He had a great beginning and led the league in hitting. This start led to a career of playing professional baseball with Cleveland and Chicago White Sox for thirteen years. During his time in the Major Leagues, he was favorably compared with Ty Cobb as a hitter and the equally great Honus Wagner as the greatest all-around player of the era. Jackson played from 1909-21 and appeared in two World Series, beating the Giants in 1917 and losing to the Cincinnati Reds in 1919. This loss resulted in the infamous Black Sox Scandal, in which eight players, including Jackson, were banished from baseball for conspiring to throw the Series. However, the players were never found guilty of these allegations. Still, this episode put an abrupt end to Jackson’s promising major league career. Jackson then returned to Savannah and made it his home. He owned and operated two prominent businesses in the downtown area.