Ferkovich: Windy City fans bid Shoeless Joe adieu

From SABR member Scott Ferkovich at The Hardball Times on February 2, 2016:

From a Far-Flung Correspondent:

Comiskey Park in Chicago is an idyllic greensward lovingly wrapped in a red brick shell. Built in 1910, it is one of the finest baseball plants in this great nation of ours, not as cozy as its neighbor on the North Side, nor as curiously-shaped as the Polo Grounds in Manhattan. But it has a familiar permanence to it, a solidity that should make it last well into the next century. Rumor has it that the National Park Service wants to requisition its vast outfield expanse, but we don’t give credence to this tale.

On the afternoon of Sunday, Sept. 26, a fair day with the thermometer slowly rising, I decided to forego my usual get-together with the in-laws and made my way down to the ballpark at 35th and Shields. The White Sox were officially out of the race for the American League pennant, which will fly over the Yankee Stadium in New York this year. The Sox’ opponents in the contest were the Senators of Washington, who had a pretty fair hurler you may have heard of named Walter Johnson. The D.C . team also had a Goose, a Muddy, a Bucky and a Buddy. But what they didn’t have was a Joseph Jefferson Jackson, otherwise known as “Shoeless” Joe. The White Sox star was the attraction nearly everyone had come to the ballpark to see, including myself.

This being the final Sox game to be played in this summer of 1926, it also meant it would be the last time the baseball fans of the South Side would get to see Shoeless Joe, the team’s regular left fielder and beloved drawing card. He had been telling everyone for months that this was going to be his last season as a player. Most Sox fans didn’t want to believe it, didn’t want to imagine the day would ever come when Jackson’s name wouldn’t be penciled into the lineup card by manager Kid Gleason. One headline blared, “Who Will Fill Joe’s Shoes??”

Read the full article here: http://www.hardballtimes.com/windy-city-fans-bid-shoeless-joe-adieu/

Originally published: February 8, 2016. Last Updated: February 8, 2016.