"Shoeless" Joe Jackson
Full Name: Joseph Jefferson Jackson
Nickname: Shoeless Joe
Joseph Jefferson Jackson was born on July 16, 1888 in Pickens County, South Carolina. As a young child, Jackson worked in a textile mill in nearby Brandon Mill. In 1900, at the age of 13, Jackson started to play for the Brandon Mill baseball team. During one game, Jackson got a blister from his new pair of cleats. The shoes hurt so bad that he took them off before he went to bat. Even without shoes, he still managed to get a hit. When he got to base a fan started yelling and called Joe, amongst other things, a "shoeless son-of-a-bitch." The name stuck with him all the way to the major leagues and was not necessarily a term of endearment.
In 1908, Jackson began his professional baseball career with the Philadelphia Athletics, then managed by the famous Connie Mack. After three-years with the A's organization (the majority of his last with a team in Savannah,GA), Jackson was traded to the Cleveland Naps. He spent a portion of the 1910 season with the New Orleans Pelicans before he joined the Major League club. Jackson, who still qualified as a rookie, hit .408 in 1911. It is still the record for highest batting average by a rookie and the sixth highest single-season total of the modern era.
Midway through the 1915, Jackson was dealt to the Chicago White Sox. Two-years later, he and the White Sox won the World Series. The 1917 title was the last World Series the franchise would win for 88-years. However, the White Sox returned to the series after a one-year hiatus. What transpired is one of the games most famous scandals, and something that would effect the sport even to this day. The Sox were heavily favored over the Reds, but lost the series because several members of the White Sox conspired to throw games. Despite heavily circumstantial evidence against Jackson, he was one of the eight men kicked out of baseball. The man who Babe Ruth modeled his swing after was lost forever. He retired to South Carolina where he lived out his days running a liquor store with his wife Katie.