On Sept. 24, 1919, Shoeless Joe Jackson drove in the winning run in the game that clinched the pennant for the Chicago White Sox. Jackson finished the season batting .351, which was fourth best in the league.
The Cincinnati Reds won 96 games in 1919 to become National League champions. The White Sox had won only 88 games but were favored in the World Series because of their superior offense. The experts acknowledged that the Reds' outstanding pitching might be the difference.
During the season, the Reds averaged 4.13 runs a game compared to the White Sox's 4.77 runs a game. The Reds had a team ERA of 2.23 compared to the White Sox's 3.04. The Reds batted .263/.327/.342 to the White Sox's .287/.351/.380.
In what must be considered a mild upset, the Reds beat the White Sox in the World Series, five games to three despite Jackson's presence.
Jackson had an outstanding World Series. He tied a record with 12 hits, batted .375/.394/.563, including three doubles, a home run and six RBIs.
In 1917, when the White Sox defeated the New York Giants in the World Series, Jackson had batted a less impressive .304/.333/.304, managing seven singles and no extra base hits in 23 at-bats. Two years later, his World Series experience helped him adjust to the pressure.
Jackson was hitless in the opening game of the Series at Cincinnati as the Reds trounced the White Sox, 9-1. The next day, Jackson had three hits in four at-bats as the Sox again lost, this time 4-2.
In the first of three games in Chicago, Jackson had two hits in three at-bats as the White Sox and Dickie Kerr beat the Reds, 3-0. The Reds returned the compliment the next day, winning 2-0, as Jackson was held to one hit. The White Sox were shut out again in Game 5 as Jackson went hitless.
The White Sox, down four games to one, gamely battled back in an attempt to defy the odds, They won the next two games to pull within a game of Reds. Jackson had two hits in four at-bats in each game.
Jackson was having a great World Series. After seven games, he had accumulated 10 hits in his attempt to thwart the Reds great pitching. In the eighth game, he had two more hits, three RBIs and a home run, but the Reds scored 10 runs to end the White Sox hopes.
When the World Series ended, Jackson signed a three-year contract with the White Sox for $8,000 a season, which was a 33 percent raise over his previous salary. He paid the White Sox back handsomely, hitting .382 and batting in a career high 121 runs in 1920. He led the league with 20 triples.
Jackson finished his career with a .356 batting average. Only Ty Cobb's .366 and Rogers' Hornsby's .358 are higher. Please don't ask why Jackson had not yet been elected to the Hall of Fame.