(84.) See "This Is the Truth," by Shoeless Joe Jackson
as told to Furman Bisher, Sport, October 1949.
KINSELLA (1982): The prolific Kinsella (The Iowa Baseball Confederacy) refashions the 1919 Black Sox, focusing on underrated superstar Shoeless Joe Jackson
, the best player besides Pete Rose never to be elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
When Ray was 17, he packed his bags and left his Iowa home, telling his father he was ashamed of him for "believing in a criminal" (Shoeless Joe Jackson
"Say it ain't so, Joe," a young boy is reputed to have implored Shoeless Joe Jackson
, the tarnished star of the infamous Chicago "Black Sox" in 1919.
Like the example of Shoeless Joe Jackson
, owing to an inherent ambiguity, the image of the cowboy does not possess a universal and concrete meaning.
When I finally saw some facts, I felt like the kid in the White Sox scandal who said to Shoeless Joe Jackson
, "Say it ain't so, Joe."
In Field of Dreams, the fiction begins when a youthful Archie Graham hitchhikes from Chisholm to Iowa to play baseball with the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson
and other long-deceased former big leaguers.
A baseball fan, Kinsella turned the story "Shoeless Joe Jackson
Comes to Iowa" into the novel Shoeless Joe (1982) and collaborated on the screenplay for the movie version, Field of Dreams (1989).
Those works all celebrate the same unifying American myth, unifying in the social as weU as the geographic sense: the Whitman-like embrace of Roy Hobbs's last fatal home run in The Natural; the time-defying injunction, in Field of Dream, that "If you build it, he wiU come." The "it" is a putative ballyard in the midst of an Iowa cornfield; the "he" is Shoeless Joe Jackson
, star of the Chicago White Sox, banished forever from baseball in the Black Sox gambling scandal of 1919, also the subject of Eight Men Out, in which he is portrayed as much as victim as perpetrator.
Eight Sox players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson
, were banned from baseball for life for throwing the Series against the Cincinnati Reds.
After Shoeless Joe Jackson
, one of the most famous players in baseball, was banned from the game for his participation in fixing the 1919 World Series, he was replaced by a man who had never played professional baseball.
It turns out that book held what may be the only autographed photo of Shoeless Joe Jackson
, the Holy Grail of baseball signatures.