Joe Jackson’s TimeLine

December 17th, 2012

Joe Jackson’s Life Outside of Pro Baseball Map

December 17th, 2012

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December 17th, 2012

View The Many Stadiums of Joe Jackson in a larger map

Final Project Written Portion- Did Shoeless Joe Jackson Throw the World Series?

December 17th, 2012

“Shoeless” Joe Jackson was a beloved baseball player that tore up the professional baseball world from 1908-1919. He had the highest batting average ever recorded by a rookie and the fans loved him. Unfortunately, this player’s career met a tragic end. When his team, the Chicago White Sox, was playing in the World Series of 1919 against the Cincinnati Reds the Sox lost with a devastating 5-3 games. Since the White Sox were the favorite to win, this record aroused serious suspicion about the validity of the games. It was discovered that many of the players might be under the influence of bookies and had thrown the Series. Eight players, including Joe Jackson, were accused and put on trial for fraud. The question is- did Joe actually throw those games? He insisted throughout the trial that he was innocent and his record suggested that he was playing like his normal, talented self.

This conspiracy was discovered because a year after the series, two players confessed to having participated in throwing the World Series. One of the initial confessors was Joe Jackson but he later retracted his statement. In Jay Bennett’s essay “Did Shoeless Joe Jackson throw the World Series” he states “Even if he had taken the money for throwing the Series, his .375 batting average and record 12 hits in the series indicate that he may have played on the level anyway” (Pg.241). While this is one view, others say that while Joe’s playing was impressive, he did not hit the clutch level that he normally had before. While all eight players were found not guilty on all charges, there was still suspicion surrounding the events and all of them were banned from professional baseball for life. While these players were forever dubbed the “Black” Sox, Joe was still loved and many people agreed that he must be innocent because of the way he played. Fifty years after the scandal, Mills and Mills (1970) figured out a way to find out the truth.

They introduced the new baseball statistic Player Win Average. It contended that a player’s performance should be judged on the amount the increase or decreases the team’s chance of winning. Win and Loss points are awarded to players on a play by play basis whether or not they are increasing or decreasing their team’s chance of winning. The system measures all players equally and considers the different game situations. For example, When Jackson had a forced walk to start the 8th inning of game six; it was just as important as a home run because it increased their chances of winning just as much. According to the analysis of his performance in these games, his contribution toward the goal of victory was not only superior to many of his own players, but higher than many of the players for the opposite team as well. Out of all the player’s scores for batting throughout the Series, Jackson had the highest in every game of both teams. His positive batting and fielding scores far outweigh any mistakes he made. Also supporting his case that he played to the best of his ability was that his batting average (.563) was higher in the series than during a regular season. Also, Jackson’s batting performance had 68.6% more clutch value than all the other hitters that were put in his similar batting situations. That is, he had a much higher than average effect and positive influence on the performance of his team. All of this data that has been collected has seemed to prove that “Shoeless” Joe Jackson played phenomenal games of baseball.

So, when asking whether or not Joe Jackson threw the 1919 World Series one has to look at the facts. Joe Jackson was the third most valuable player in contributing to his team and the seventh most valuable player overall in the series. When he was up to bat, Jackson made greater contributions to his team’s chances of winning than any player throughout the entire Series. Out of all of the “Black” Sox that were accused of conspiracy, he was the only one that had more of a positive impact on the games than a negative one. Jackson had a higher batting average in the Series than he did during the regular season. Also, when it came to clutch situations and high pressure during the game his batting performance excelled suggesting that he was trying as hard as he could to secure a win for his team.

With all this information, it would seem that Joe Jackson did not intentionally throw the 1919 World Series. His initial confession might be from guilt of knowing about the plot, or from shame that he might have accepted at first than later decided he could no longer go through with it. We will never truly know his level of involvement for he insisted on his innocence until the day he died. But we can prove that he played to the best of his ability, and excelled on the baseball field just as he always had done.

This was an important historical event. It was the first black mark on the great American past time of baseball. Luckily, there are still many people researching this event which is why there is such a plethora of data available. In 2007, new documents were discovered that once belonged to the lawyers of the White Sox players. Hopefully these documents will shed new light on a confusing and upsetting scandal. The American History Museum and others like it should invest in digging deeper into these charges and possibly clearing the name of Joe Jackson. Baseball fans everywhere want to know the truth.



 Bennett, Jay. “Did Shoeless Joe Jackson Throw the 1919 World Series?” The American Statistician 47 (1993): 241-50. Print.

“Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.” Joe’s Story  :. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2012.

Voigt, David Quentin. “The Chicago Black Sox and the Myth of Baseball’s Single Sin.” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 62 (1969): 293-306. Web.


November 26th, 2012

As I have stated many times. I am not exactly a computer genius  I am still having trouble getting a hang of how to make all of these graphs and timelines and such for my final project. However, I am learning that there is lots of new technology out there that can help me with these issues. This week we are learning about scratch. It’s a programming language that helps the user create their own animations, interactive stories, music, games, art, and then share it on the web with others. These types of programs are extremely helpful to someone like me that does not always immediately understand the world of online programming. Scratch is a way to help normal people express themselves on the the internet without the help of others.

I think it is actually an incredibly profitable idea. This could be sold to all sorts of business people so they could make more creative presentations in their working environments. Not only that however, but scratch games can be very fun! When I was surfing the web to find more information of this topic I found some really entertaining games that definitely make the world of computer programming seem like fun. 

Computer scientists vs historians

November 12th, 2012

“Computer scientists would approach Borges’s library far differently. Employing the information theory that forms the basis for search engines and other computerized techniques for assessing in one fell swoop large masses of documents, they would quickly realize the collection’s incoherence though sampling and statistical methods – and wisely start looking for the library’s exit.”

As a history major, I often find everything about the internet confusing. I do not know if it is simply that my brain works differently or that I never seemed to grasp how to understand it. But either way when I, for instances, Google something I can never seem to find the right information I’m looking for. I always just come across broad articles that are slightly related to the topic I am searching. Reading through book after book seems to be more my style, as this poor sad man in Borges’s short story. However, it seems as though that is rapidly becoming a lost art and it seems as though I might have to learn how to deal with the internet head on.

When I was younger I dated a boy who was a computer science major. Now obviously it did not work out to well by the end he drove me absolutely insane. But I wonder if it was his fault? Were we simply just made from two different types of minds? He was always coding and on his computer and I did not understand any of it. I was always sitting and reading behind him. So unengaged with each other. It seems I am an old fashioned historian born in the wrong era. For it looks as though computer scientists and historians are going to need to learn to interact.

The word itself makes me shudder…Powerpoint.

November 4th, 2012

The standard PowerPoint presentation elevates format over content, betraying an attitude of commercialism that turns everything into a sales pitch.”

I will say that every time one of my professors asks me to do a power point presentation the first thing I think is “oh great, a bunch of tedious fact finding and color coordination”. As Tufte has said in this article, power point does make it very difficult to display any detailed information. It more focuses on how to present information as simply as possible. After a few titles and bullet points of simple facts, I find that most of the time I spend on power points is trying to decide which slide should be which colors. Or I spend ten minutes looking up facts for a slide and thirty minutes trying to figure out how to fit a picture in between the bullet points.

I know it seems like a good way to teach kids how to use technology within their learning, but children end up staring at the power point the entire time and reading off of it. If there’s one thing I’ve learned through out school its how to give a presentation. You need to be able to talk about the information without just reading it off some screen. This is no way for anybody to learn, and not nearly as much work as teachers seem to think it is.


October 30th, 2012

As I was reading Feltron’s 2010 annual report at first I had no idea what the point of these graphs were. Then as I went on and scrolled down more it was explained this particular report was a total history of his fathers life. He had extensive timelines going as far back (as I can imagine) as he could possibly discover about his fathers life. The slide starting with Gunter as a two year old actually gave me a better understand of how maybe I could accomplish my timeline for the final project.

The level of detail he had in this report was incredible. He had everything from his yearly school reports to how frequently he visited different places in the world and when. Feltron had everything broken down by decade, which was probably wise since there was so much information I can imagine one becoming overwhelmed quite quickly. He should write a book on his researching techniques and organizing skills because I know I could sure use them.


New Technology

October 15th, 2012

As I explored the tools in this weeks readings I was once again astonished at the technology readily available in today’s world. In, particular, the idea that you can make and display your own map in Google Earth.

The idea that all this personal information can be displayed about myself on the internet is continually frightening to me. It makes it not so hard to believe why some people might pack up and head for the woods and a life of paranoid solitude. Somebody could discover exactly where I lived and I would never be aware of it.

Also, it is not as if this technology just exists but is restricted to certain professionals for educational purposes. As I was browsing through the KML tutorial it became clear that (even someone who is severely technologically challenged such as myself) anyone could figure out how to use this tool and post information about their neighbor, friend, coworker, etc. without anyone every being aware that their personal information was being displayed. It seems the only way to protect yourself from this invasion of privacy is to became a computer expert yourself and fight fire with fire. To find any information out there that is unwanted and figure out how to take it down, although, in the world of the internet it will never truly be erased.

A Very Cloudy World

October 1st, 2012

“Moreover, if your computers aren’t already cloud-connected devices, they will be soon. Apple is working hard to get all of its customers to use iCloud. Google’s entire operating system is cloud-based. And Windows 8, the most cloud-centric operating system yet, will hit desktops by the tens of millions in the coming year.”

As anyone who has spoken with me about this class at all knows, I am very uneducated when it comes to the technological world. In fact it’s taken me weeks to get the hang of this blogging thing and I still run into kinks every day. As a person who is not entirely sure how the “cloud” operates I must say, the above statement frightens me. When I think of the so-called technology cloud, I think of all of my information. All of my information floating out there in the world easily obtained by anyone with the technology skills I can’t seem to grasp. Being a child of the 90s of course I’ve grown up with social media and the obsession with computers that everyone has dived head first into. But that does not mean I have any idea of the interworkings of the system. Most of all my valuable information and files is stored with no more than a simple password that I tend to reuse over and over again.
Reading this article frightens me to no end about the information I could lose. It makes me want to start printing all of my photos, letters, and homework and put them in a big binder just to make sure I’ll never lose it. Maybe what I really need to do is learn more about how the cloud works so I can better protect myself. Otherwise I forsee spending hundreds of dollars to have the experts put in security systems that I could never hope to understand.