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View Full Version : Testing a Theory on Shoeless Joe


soxstarter
09-11-2008, 10:46 PM
Having just watched "Eight Men Out." again and recently visiting "The Field of Dreams," a theory about Shoeless Joe comes to mind.

A book that I purchased reviewed the history of Shoeless. I am sure many of you have heard that after his major league career, that he played and managed a few different minor league teams in the Carolinas (where he was originally from). The book that I read said that he later owned a couple of different businesses (restaurant and a liquor store) that proved to be very successful.

The book also reported that after Joe's death, the grandson of Charles Comisky sent a large memorial to his family and attended the funeral.

So here is my theory....Joe ran not one but two successful businesses in what was probably the midst of the depression and then still has this connection with the Comisky's right up to his death. Do you think that maybe Charles Comisky and the family kind of helped Joe out financially following the decision by Landis.

Could Comisky have felt some guilt about what had happened to Joe.

Okay, I know I have been long winded here but please....discuss. I would love to know your opinions.

CWSpalehoseCWS
09-11-2008, 11:18 PM
I doubt it. Charles Comisky was very cheap. I don't know if his decendents would be, but they could have been raised like it.

MarySwiss
09-12-2008, 01:12 AM
Having just watched "Eight Men Out." again and recently visiting "The Field of Dreams," a theory about Shoeless Joe comes to mind.

A book that I purchased reviewed the history of Shoeless. I am sure many of you have heard that after his major league career, that he played and managed a few different minor league teams in the Carolinas (where he was originally from). The book that I read said that he later owned a couple of different businesses (restaurant and a liquor store) that proved to be very successful.

The book also reported that after Joe's death, the grandson of Charles Comisky sent a large memorial to his family and attended the funeral.

So here is my theory....Joe ran not one but two successful businesses in what was probably the midst of the depression and then still has this connection with the Comisky's right up to his death. Do you think that maybe Charles Comisky and the family kind of helped Joe out financially following the decision by Landis.

Could Comisky have felt some guilt about what had happened to Joe.

Okay, I know I have been long winded here but please....discuss. I would love to know your opinions.

Of course, this is all speculation, but IMO, you might be on to something, Robin. If Comiskey's grandson sent a memorial and attended the funeral, that would seem to indicate a bond of some sort that lasted through the years. I wouldn't rule your theory out, especially since Joe was supposedly unsophisticated in matters of business.

I_Liked_Manuel
09-12-2008, 11:52 AM
Imo, if he was smart enough to run a couple successful businesses - the argument that he was too dumb to even know what was going on (as was portrayed in Eight Men Out) is a bunch of bs. The Black Sox put a serious cramp on Comiskey's efforts to run a profitable franchise, so I can't foresee any reason why he would have helped any of them out. He wouldn't reasonably pay Jackson when he was legitimately earning the money, why would he pay them when he wasn't earning it?

TDog
09-12-2008, 01:38 PM
Everything I've read about Joe Jackson indicates his wife was the brains of the outfit. He never even learned to read.

soxstarter
09-12-2008, 01:53 PM
I didn't quite buy the total ignorance of Joe which was portrayed in "Eight Men Out" either. However I am sure there is some truth to the the assumption that his wife might have been the brains behind the management of those successful businesses. The book does quote a couple of people having spoken to Joe while frequenting both the restaurant and the liqour store and they commented on how friendly he was. He may have just been the "front man" for the operation of those.

However...I still think it is a mystery why the Comisky family still felt enough connection to Joe....so many years after the Black Sox scandal and after Charles Comisky's death to make such a contribution/appearance at his funeral.

ode to veeck
09-12-2008, 11:20 PM
given the thread title, I was wondering what a thread on tomatoes was doing in the clubhouse :redneck

TornLabrum
09-12-2008, 11:27 PM
Joe's businesses were a liquor store and a dry cleaning business (I think in that order). Katie Jackson was indeed the brains of the outfit. She always insisted on reading his contracts before Joe signed them. In 1920 she insisted that the 10-day dismissal clause be eliminated from Jackson's contract.

Unfortunately for Jackson, Harry Grabiner managed to bluff Joe into signing the contract without Katie first looking it over. (He said he had to be somewhere and Joe had better sign now.) Apparently Joe asked if the ten-day clause had been eliminated, and Grabiner assured that it had. Joe signed, and Katie was understandably furious.

On the other hand, just because Jackson was illiterate, that doesn't necessarily mean that he was dumb. He started working in a mill when most kids would be starting school. He had no formal education of any kind. That's what it was like in South Carolina mill towns for poor whites in those days.

Jackson died in 1950. In those days, Chuck Comiskey was considered a bit of a rebel by Grace Comiskey. Not long before that time he got POed that Grace wouldn't increase his salary with the Sox and took a job with the Liberty Broadcasting Network, which broadcast recreations of major league games mostly on small southern and western radio stations.

It was that early rebellious attitude that convinced Grace to go against J. Louis Comiskey's expressed wishes that Chuck take over the team when she died. Instead she left the majority of shares to her daughter Dorothy Comiskey Rigney. It was the ill feelings resulting from that that made Chuck demand a family discount when Dorothy decided to sell her shares. By the time he finally decided to make a more reasonable offer, she'd already given Bill Veeck on option on her shares. When Veeck sold his stock to Art Allyn, Comiskey knew he'd never get a majority holding again and sold his shares to Allyn.

Sox4ever77
09-13-2008, 01:01 AM
This is like adding 2 and 2 and getting 5. Just because the grandson, sent flowers and attended the funeral of Shoeless Joe, doesn't mean the Comiskey family supported him.

I think if the Comiskey's really cared, they would have found a way to force out Landis and/or overturn his lifetime ban of Shoeless Joe.

KnightSox
09-13-2008, 12:57 PM
I doubt it. Charles Comisky was very cheap. I don't know if his decendents would be, but they could have been raised like it.Thank God Rocky Wirtz wasn't.

Ziggy S
09-13-2008, 02:53 PM
Joe's businesses were a liquor store and a dry cleaning business (I think in that order). Katie Jackson was indeed the brains of the outfit. She always insisted on reading his contracts before Joe signed them. In 1920 she insisted that the 10-day dismissal clause be eliminated from Jackson's contract.

Unfortunately for Jackson, Harry Grabiner managed to bluff Joe into signing the contract without Katie first looking it over. (He said he had to be somewhere and Joe had better sign now.) Apparently Joe asked if the ten-day clause had been eliminated, and Grabiner assured that it had. Joe signed, and Katie was understandably furious.

On the other hand, just because Jackson was illiterate, that doesn't necessarily mean that he was dumb. He started working in a mill when most kids would be starting school. He had no formal education of any kind. That's what it was like in South Carolina mill towns for poor whites in those days.

Jackson died in 1950. In those days, Chuck Comiskey was considered a bit of a rebel by Grace Comiskey. Not long before that time he got POed that Grace wouldn't increase his salary with the Sox and took a job with the Liberty Broadcasting Network, which broadcast recreations of major league games mostly on small southern and western radio stations.

It was that early rebellious attitude that convinced Grace to go against J. Louis Comiskey's expressed wishes that Chuck take over the team when she died. Instead she left the majority of shares to her daughter Dorothy Comiskey Rigney. It was the ill feelings resulting from that that made Chuck demand a family discount when Dorothy decided to sell her shares. By the time he finally decided to make a more reasonable offer, she'd already given Bill Veeck on option on her shares. When Veeck sold his stock to Art Allyn, Comiskey knew he'd never get a majority holding again and sold his shares to Allyn.

I've read about all this in the White Sox Encyclopedia. The shameful part of all that is Chuck was a bigger reason for the Go-Go era than Veeck even though Bill seems to get all the credit. Chuck is the guy that hired Trader Frank Lane and when he resigned, Chuck made quite a few terrific deals, including Minnie Minoso for Early Wynn and Al Smith. Without that trade, we don't win the AL in '59. If Dorothy's shares had never been sold to Veeck or Chuck had gotten the entire stake of the team himself, I think we could have won another pennant or two and a World Series in there. Earl Battey would not have been traded and we may have held onto Norm Cash, which solves the offensive troubles the team had througout the Sixties when the pitching was terrific.