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Joe Jackson

             It is the 1919 World Series, and you are in left field of Crosley Field in Cincinnati. The crowd is just over thirty thousand people and everyone is cheering. You say to yourself, "This is crazy," but you get an adrenaline rush from it. "Get your hot dogs here," you hear from the vendor man in the crowd as you take your practice fly balls. You race to catch the ball before it hits the ground and you make it just in time. The crowd cheers, "Shoeless!" The announcer says, "Wow, that glove is the place where triples go to die." As you run into the dugout, the cool mist of the grass seeps through your cleats and the sand clumps up on the spikes as you run through the infield. Once you reach the dugout your coach Kid Gleason yells, "Shoeless, get up to bat." You grab your bat, "Black Betsy" as you call her. You step into the batters box eyeing down Cincinnati's pitcher Dutch Ruether and you know that you own him. "Up to bat Shoeless Joe Jackson," the announcer enthusiastically whoops. "Get your popcorn here," you hear out in the stands. He cocks his arm back, you can read the logo on the ball and you put everything you have into that ball to crush it out in the field. You dash to first watching the ball, seeing that the fielder misplays it and you take off sprinting, not stopping till you get to third. You step on second with all cylinders pumping and showing no signs of stopping. The outfielder throws the ball, you slide, "He's safe," says the umpire. That was an unbelievable triple. You gave everything you had. You know it will not be enough since seven of your teammates are throwing the game for money.
             That is how Joseph Jefferson Jackson felt during the 1919 World Series. He could see all the hard work that he had done since he was born in Pickens County, SC in 1887 was being corrupted by the power of money influencing his other teammates (Eight Men Out). He had no education and came from a poverty-stricken farming family, yet he became a professional baseball player that made it twice to the World Series.

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