Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes to Iowa: A Man Who Loves Iowa, His Wife and Daughter, and Baseball

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In the short story “Shoeless Joe Jackson comes to Iowa”, Kinsella provides insight about

a man who loves Iowa, his wife (Annie), his daughter (Karin), and lastly baseball.

The setting of the story takes place on a rural farm in Iowa where Ray made a baseball field

because he was told by a voice of a baseball announcer “If you build it, they will come”. (Pickering

pg 740) Ray and Annie had bought this farm, years ago, to plant and cultivate corn and to raise their

daughter in a safe environment. Ray, who was a baseball enthusiast, was told to build this field for

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson and his teammates to play baseball. He had no idea on how or why he might

even begin to build this great field. So he started small with the field, he built a magnificent left field

first for Joe. All the townspeople had heard what Ray was building and they thought he must have

been crazy. Because he was taking a big section of his corn field and was turning it into a baseball

diamond, he was going to be losing a huge profit in the harvest season for years to come. His

remarkable wife went along with these plans and said,”Oh love, if it makes you happy, you should do

it.”(Pickering pg 741) So Ray began on this project which took him several months just to build the

left field for Mr. Jackson, whom he had never even met. So when Ray hears the baseball announcers

voice “If you build it they will come”,(Pickering pg. 740) he ,of course, was Shoeless Joe Jackson.

Joe was born in Brandon Mills, South Carolina in July of 1887 and died in Greenville, South Carolina

in December of 1951. Joe Jackson was the best left fielder that Ty Cobb had ever seen. Joe’s glove is

the “place where triples go to die.”(Pickering pg. 741)

Shoeless Joe Jackson was an American baseball player who played Major League Baseball in the

early 20th century. He will always be remembered by his performance on the field and for

his association with the Black Sox Scandal, in which members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox

participated in a conspiracy to fix the World Series. The Black Sox Scandal took place during the

1919 World Series. The conspiracy was the result of the White Sox first baseman Arnold “Chick”

Gandil, whose long lasting ties to the underworld, persuaded a friend who was a gambler that a

fix could be pulled off. A New York gangster, Arnold Rothstein, provided the money for the fix.

Gandil enlisted several of his teammates, motivated by the dislike of the clubs owner Charles

Comisky, whom they perceived as a tightwad, to implement the fix. The owner of the Sox had a

reputation for underpaying his players for years. Since some of the guys on the team had ties to the

mob, it was easy for them to start to resent other players who were straight-laced and followed the

rules. There were a total of 8 players involved in the fix of the World Series. Starting pitchers Eddie

Cicotte and Claude “Lefty” Williams, outfielder Oscar “Happy” Felsch and shortstop Charles

“Swede” Risberg were all principally involved with Gandil. Although he hardly played in the series,

utility infielder Fred McMillan got word of the fix and he threatened that he would go public unless

he was in the payoff. “Sleepy” Bill Burns and “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, both played for the Los

Angeles Angels after the fix of the series, were mentioned in the fix though their involvement has

been disputed. I think he was not involved at all but got caught up in some nasty mob dealings. In the

infamous World Series, “Shoeless” Joe Jackson had 12 hits (a World Series record) and a .375 batting

average to lead both teams in the individual statistics. He, also, committed no errors and threw out a

base runner at home plate.

“Ultimately, eight Chicago players and various small-time gamblers were indicated in the

scandal. At a 1921 criminal trial, a strong case was...
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