USA Today is polling its readers with respect to each team's greatest player. Five "finalists" are selected and fans select the one they consider the best.
The Chicago White Sox have had many great stars. The five finalists for the greatest White Sox player are Luke Appling (.310/.399/.398), Eddie Collins (.333/.424/.429), Nellie Fox (.288/.348/.363), Frank Thomas (.301/.419/.555) and Ted Lyons (26.-230, 3.67 ERA).
Conspicuous by his absence is the greatest of all Chicago White Sox players, Shoeless Joe Jackson (.356/.423/.517).
Why was Jackson not included? One can only speculate.
It is probably as simple as the fact that he played for the White Sox for only four complete season in his six years with team.
Jackson was accused of not doing his best during during the 1919 World Series, which is a gentle way of stating that he was brought to trial for helping to fix that Series.
In 1921, a Chicago jury acquitted Jackson and his seven "conspirators" of any wrongdoing, but that was not good enough for baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
Landis banned all eight acquitted players from baseball for life, claiming that the game had to clean up its image.
His position was that baseball's image took precedence over legal judgments. Doesn't that sound a lot like the American government today? You betcha.
I think that I have just made what a consider an extremely disturbing discovery. If I am wrong, please, please correct me.
MLB.com does not list Joe Jackson among the all-time career leaders in batting. Is MLB rewriting history?
Jackson is listed as the White Sox career batting leader (.340/.407/.499) when one filters the statistics at MLB.com according to team leaders.
Barry Bonds, the disgraced and generally despised all-time home run leader is listed as are all the players who used performance enhancing substances. Gambler Pete Rose is listed as the career hits leader.
The other seven acquitted White Sox players are also listed on MLB.
If not listing Jackson is an oversight, it is as egregious an error as possible for any statistical baseball site, especially for MLB.
When one reads baseball articles and books, Bonds is referred to as the all-time home run leader. Pete Rose is referred to as the career hits leader. Joe Jackson is credited with the third highest batting average behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby.
Joe Jackson has been honored with the Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, South Carolina. He was respected by some of the greatest players of all time.
Ty Cobb once told Jackson “Whenever I got the idea I was a good hitter, I’d stop and take a look at you. Then I knew I could stand some improvement.”
Ted Williams and Bob Feller supported Jackson's reinstatement fiercely. They stated, quite logically, that Jackson's ban should have ended when his life ended.
The issue is not if Jackson took part in fixing the 1919 World Series. The point is that his accomplishments must be acknowledged, and in almost all instances, they are.
Check the MLB.com site. Go to statistics, batting statistics and all-time leaders. It is believed that a correction must be made.