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Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  90 ratings  ·  16 reviews
"Shoeless" Joe Jackson was one of baseball's greatest hitters and most colorful players. Born Joseph Jefferson Wofford Jackson on July 16, 1888, in Pickens County, South Carolina, Jackson went to work in a textile mill when he was around six years old, and got his start in baseball playing for the Brandon Mill team at the age of 13 earning $2.50 a game. He emerged as the s ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 12th 2001 by McFarland & Company (first published March 2001)
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 ·  90 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Suzanne Moore
I'm not much of a sports fan, but I love to read memoirs and biographies. Joe Jackson went from rags to riches, so to speak, and his story was quite interesting … involving scandal and speculation. Joe was born in 1887 and went to work at a textile mill at the age of seven. He never had a chance to attend school or learn to read and write. Times were certainly hard, especially living in a large family. Everyone had to work to help ends meet. As Joe got older he began playing baseball with the mi ...more
Joe Santoro
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports
This is just the sort of format I want out of a baseball book. The author tells the story of Shoeless Joe with facts, and discusses the popular legends that exist in the context of actual verifiable evidence.

There are times when such a presentation gets bogged down and boring, but in this case they were fashioned into a solid, coherent narrative that makes one have a real sense of the man and his life.

The only compaint I have is that Mr. Fleitz promises an opinion on whether he things Jackson s
Dec 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting, well-written, and even-keeled. The best part is that he has no interest in promoting a particular reinstatement/Hall of Fame perspective. It's clear that Joe Jackson knew exactly what he was doing, likely helped to throw games despite his denials, and his main regret was only getting $5,000 instead of the $20,000 he demanded (and not getting it up front like Eddie Cicotte).

It's amazing to think of an illiterate superstar player--he had multiple offers of tutoring but turned them all
Jeremiah Taylor
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Highly interesting, well researched, and insightful.
Drew Zagorski
Oct 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up blocks from Comiskey and being a die-hard Sox fan, most of what I'd known of Joe Jackson was the myth, and how Comiskey's tightwad ways played into the throwing of the Series. That's about all I'll share on that so as not to be a spoiler. But the reason I chose this book was to learn more about what happened after the 1919 Series. This book delivered that and a whole lot more about his life prior to and during his playing days. Fleitz's narrative was very easy to read, though at ...more
Maryann Watkins
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting look at Shoeless Joe Jackson ... the man, the baseball player, and one of the men involved in "fixing" the 1919 World Series. This book is filled with a lot of stats, but you can skim those and get to the meat of the book which revolves around Jackson ... his childhood, start in the majors, the fact that he couldn't read or write ... and the scandal that destroyed his baseball career and his reputation. Wow ... his stats are incredible and he was actually MLB's first real power hitte ...more
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
After reading so many books dealing with the Black Sox I wanted more info on Shoeless Joe Jackson. He and Buck Weaver were the two I found the most interesting. This is a very involved bio on his book and gives me some insight into his character. Almost all books I've read [including Ty Cobb's:] left me with the impression that he died broken and destitute. Not so! The liquor store Ty said he worked in was owned by him- along with a restaurant down the street. Somehow the other books left that o ...more
Ken Heard
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
If I could write a baseball book, this would be it. This is a great read about Joe Jackson, and the events leading up to his banishment for baseball for allegedly gambling on the 1919 World Series. I say 'allegedly' because Fleitz does not make any editorial statements and just presents facts from court documents, newspaper accounts, biographies of other players, etc. There is so much more to Jackson than that ill-fated Wold Series, and Fleitz captures it all.

I totally enjoyed this and would rec
Oct 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book but after reading it I do not think Shoeless Joe should be in the hall of fame. He was in on the fix and took 5,000.00 for his part. He was a great player and he should not have done what he did but he did. He has to suffer the consequences. Poor Buck Weaver took no money but because he did not inform his bosses that there was a fix on he was banished from the game. You pay a price for wrong doing.
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
I saw the movie and thought that was cute and so found this book on my bus and started reading it since no one has claimed it yet. It was a book that told the story just like the movie "Field of Dreams" and I like that movie, too. A good book for anyone. ...more
Jan 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
I learned a good bit about the era and about Jackson himself. But the author seemed a little stilted as a writer. A little too much of a fan, even sycophantic. And much of the book is just a recitation of game after game during a season, and streak after streak.

(Really 3.5)
Kim Martin
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well-balanced telling of the controversial tale of Joe Jackson. Author provides fairness and well-documented support for Jackson's involvement, and the limits of it, in the Black Sox scandal. Great baseball read. ...more
Jim Noyes
Mar 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
very good recount of a misunderstood man. overall, he was one great ballplayer who was manipulated by many. even though he probably did take the money, he belongs in the hall of fame.
Oct 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: baseball, biograhpy
This was a great read . I have always wanted to know more about his man ever since I saw field of dreams.
Billy Beasley
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Excellent story with a lot of information I was not aware of.
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