Other books by David L. Fleitz:
More Ghosts in the Gallery (McFarland, 2007) contains 16 more fascinating biographies of little-known Hall of Famers. It will be released this summer.
Louis Sockelexis: The First Cleveland Indian (McFarland, 2002) tells the interesting and tragic story of the first Native American in major league baseball, and the first minority player of any kind in the National League.
Ghosts in the Gallery at Cooperstown (McFarland, 2004) contains 16 biographies of little-known, but highly fascinating, members of the Hall of Fame.
Cap Anson: The Grand Old Man of Baseball (McFarland, 2005) is the first full-length biography of 19th century baseball's greatest player and manager in more than 100 years.
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by David L. Fleitz
Shoeless Joe Jackson was one of baseball's most colorful, and tragic, characters. Born in poverty, he never learned to read and write but made a name for himself as one of the greatest hitters in baseball. He compiled a career batting average of .356, the third highest mark of all time, and seemed destined to join his friend and rival Ty Cobb as one of the charter members of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
However, Joe Jackson made a fateful decision in 1919 that cost him his career and his reputation. He conspired with several of his Chicago White Sox teammates to purposely lose the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. Joe led all batters with a .375 average in that Series, but questions about the quality of his play persist to this day. A year later, he admitted that he received $5,000 to participate in the scheme, and he was soon banned from the game for life. To this day, he remains ineligible for election to the Hall of Fame.
About the Book:
Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson is the most complete and historically accurate biography of this great ballplayer. It tells the true story of Joe Jackson, separating the "Field of Dreams" myth from the man, and explores his participation in baseball's greatest scandal.
SABR member David Fleitz traveled to Chicago and Cleveland (where Jackson played major league ball) and also went to the player's hometown of Greenville, South Carolina to gather information on Jackson. The result is a fascinating true-to-life account that includes a fair share of never-before published information about one of baseball's most interesting and tragic characters.
The book is published by McFarland and Company of Jefferson, North Carolina, a recognized industry leader in works on baseball history.
"One of the best baseball biographies of the year." - Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Fleitz ... has written a well-organized, tightly-written, informative book." - Toledo Blade
"Fleitz's book is the best baseball biography published this year." - ESPN.com
"a credible and eloquent picture of Shoeless Joe and his place in baseball history" - Boston Globe
"a fine biography that clears up many of the misconceptions regarding one of baseball's most enduring controversies" - Booklist, from the American Library Association.
"a rich bibliography and copious notes indicate thorough research" - Sports Collectors Digest
"Fleitz ... has finally debunked many of the myths surrounding Jackson" - Baseball America
About the Author:
Fleitz is a resident of
David is also a baseball trivia expert, winning the annual competition at the national SABR convention in Seattle in 2006 after taking second place in Toronto the year before. He has authored articles for SABR's Baseball Research Journal and The National Pastime, and his work appears in two recent compilations, Deadball Stars of the National League (Brassey's, 2005) and Deadball Stars of the American League (Potomac Books, 2007).
Awards and Honors:
Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson was named as one of six finalists for the 2001 Dave Moore Award, given for the "most important book on baseball" by the baseball literary magazine Elysian Fields Quarterly. Shoeless also received honorable mention in the balloting for the 19th annual Casey Award, and was selected as the best baseball biography of 2001 by Rob Neyer of ESPN.com.
Shoeless was chosen as one of the top ten sports books of 2001 by Booklist, the monthly publication of the American Library Association.
Shoeless was selected as the first winner of the OSBY (Outstanding Sports Book of the Year) Award by the Hickory (NC) Sports Commission and the Hickory Public Library. The ceremony that honored the book was held in Hickory on September 7, 2002.
How to order:
There are three ways to order Shoeless: The Life and Times of Joe Jackson.
or, call McFarland toll-free at 1-800-253-2187.