Fall from Grace: The 2021 Truth and Tragedy of "Shoeless Joe" lowest Jackson sale

Fall from Grace: The 2021 Truth and Tragedy of "Shoeless Joe" lowest Jackson sale

Fall from Grace: The 2021 Truth and Tragedy of "Shoeless Joe" lowest Jackson sale
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You may have seen Eight Men Out or Field of Dreams, but you won’t really know the full story of Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox scandal of 1919 without reading Tim Hornbaker’s book. “Haunting portrait of one of the game’s most controversial and complex figures”—David Nemec, author, Official Rules of Baseball

Considered by Ty Cobb as “the finest natural hitter in the history of the game,” “Shoeless Joe” Jackson is ranked with the greatest players to ever step onto a baseball diamond. With a career batting average of .356—which is still ranked third best all time—the man from Pickens County, South Carolina, was on his way to becoming one of the greatest players in the sport’s history. That is, until the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919, which shook baseball to its core.

While many have sympathized with Jackson’s ban from baseball (even though he hit .375 during the 1919 World Series), not much is truly known about this quiet slugger. Whether he participated in the throwing of the World Series or not, he is still considered one of the game’s best, and many have fought for his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

From the author of Turning the Black Sox White (on Charles Comiskey) and War on the Basepaths (on Ty Cobb), Fall from Grace tells the story of the incredible life of Joseph Jefferson Jackson. From a mill boy to a baseball icon, author Tim Hornbaker breaks down the rise and fall of “Shoeless Joe,” giving an inside look during baseball’s Deadball Era, including Jackson’s personal point of view of the “Black Sox” scandal, which has never been covered before in this.

Review

" Fall from Grace: The Truth and Tragedy of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson helps flesh out that portrait and add context to the actions of a player who was banned from baseball for life for his part in the scheme. . . . Hornbaker patiently presents the evidence and invites the reader to become the jury.
— Paul Hagen, MLB.com

"Hornbaker breathes fresh life into the character and motivations of baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson in detailing his tragic plunge from stardom to infamy for his ambiguous role in fixing the 1919 World Series. His haunting portrait of one of the game’s most controversial and complex figures also provides a balanced and insightful addition to the everlasting reexaminations of the greatest scandal in the game’s long history."
— David Nemec, novelist, baseball historian, and author of The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Major League Baseball, The Beer and Whiskey League, and Major League Baseball Profiles: 1871–1900

“Tim Hornbaker has written an engaging biography of a different era in Chicago baseball history. Fall from Grace is a delight. It is an anecdote-rich story reminding us repeatedly of what we have come to love about baseball. After reading this thoughtful and informative biography, readers may take a somewhat more charitable view of Shoeless Joe Jackson.”
— Stuart Shiffman, Illinois Times

" Fall from Grace: The Truth and Tragedy of “Shoeless Joe” Jackson helps flesh out that portrait and add context to the actions of a player who was banned from baseball for life for his part in the scheme. . . . Hornbaker patiently presents the evidence and invites the reader to become the jury.
— Paul Hagen, MLB.com

"Hornbaker breathes fresh life into the character and motivations of baseball legend Shoeless Joe Jackson in detailing his tragic plunge from stardom to infamy for his ambiguous role in fixing the 1919 World Series. His haunting portrait of one of the game’s most controversial and complex figures also provides a balanced and insightful addition to the everlasting reexaminations of the greatest scandal in the game’s long history."
— David Nemec, novelist, baseball historian, and author of The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Major League Baseball, The Beer and Whiskey League, and Major League Baseball Profiles: 1871–1900

“Tim Hornbaker has written an engaging biography of a different era in Chicago baseball history. Fall from Grace is a delight. It is an anecdote-rich story reminding us repeatedly of what we have come to love about baseball. After reading this thoughtful and informative biography, readers may take a somewhat more charitable view of Shoeless Joe Jackson.”
— Stuart Shiffman, Illinois Times

About the Author

Tim Hornbaker is a lifelong sports historian and enthusiast. His books Turning the Black Sox White: The Misunderstood Legacy of Charles A. Comiskey and War on the Basepaths: The Definitive Biography of Ty Cobb were received with critical acclaim.

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
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Top reviews from the United States

Stan The Man
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Shoeless Joe ... Part of the Conspiracy or Just A Victim of Circumstances?
Reviewed in the United States on October 2, 2020
This was a well researched documentary that thoroughly examined the 1919 Black Sox scandel with an emphasis on the involvement of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Was Joe Jackson guilty of conspiracy or just a rube caught up in an unfortunate situation? The author gives you... See more
This was a well researched documentary that thoroughly examined the 1919 Black Sox scandel with an
emphasis on the involvement of Shoeless Joe Jackson. Was Joe Jackson guilty of conspiracy or just a rube
caught up in an unfortunate situation? The author gives you plenty of information but not definite conclusions.
It is, for you, to draw your own conclusions.
If you are a baseball fan, the book is interesting, but not exciting. The reader can get bogged down in detail, but the author does give the reader plenty of food for thought.
I recommend the book from a historical perspective. It does not read like a novel, but rather a book about a time in our baseball history.
5 people found this helpful
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Daniel Evensen
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Inexcusable
Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2021
This is, without a doubt, the worst book on Shoeless Joe and the 1919 World Series. Hornbaker''s book can hardly be considered history. There is no historiography here, for starters. The author cites nothing but original newspapers in his research, omitting... See more
This is, without a doubt, the worst book on Shoeless Joe and the 1919 World Series.

Hornbaker''s book can hardly be considered history. There is no historiography here, for starters. The author cites nothing but original newspapers in his research, omitting endnotes for stories that he clearly lifted from other writers on the subject. Even worse, Hornbaker takes the newspaper reporting of the 1910s at face value, providing no context to stories that are well known as being overly embellished and exaggerated. Long-discredited anecdotes resurface, such as the story of Lefty Williams being threatened before the 8th game of the 1919 World Series (a story that Eliot Asinof later admitted came solely from his own imagination) and the infamous kid outside the courthouse asking "It isn''t true, Joe, isn''t it?" And, worst of all, Hornbaker doesn''t even treat the newspapers right, citing only individual papers and articles that support his point and ignoring the rest. There is no bibliography, perhaps because this would call attention to how little research Hornbaker really did.

Even after picking and choosing his sources carefully and ignoring everything else, Hornbaker can''t get his story right. Was Jackson truly illiterate or only partially so? Different passages of this book indicate different things. Was Jackson a brilliant businessman who turned his meager salary into a financial bonanza, or was he so poor and destitute that he had no choice but to take crooked money? We''ll never know, since Hornbaker argues both points, sometimes in the space of only a few pages. Was Jackson a natural genius who was undereducated, or was he an ignorant hick who fell because he was victimized? Here, Jackson is smart when he needs to be, and is utterly dumb and naive when it helps argue his innocence.

The whoppers in this book could start their own fast food chain. After Hornbaker presents the extremely scant and unconvincing evidence that Jackson may have had an affair in 1915, he tells us that this tryst was clearly the worst decision of Jackson''s life. I suppose that taking $5,000 from Lefty Williams was a brilliant move in comparison. After several chapters depicting Jackson''s role in the World Series fix, including clear insinuations that Jackson''s play was not always on the level, Hornbaker turns in the final chapter to pronounce that there is no evidence that he did anything wrong in 1919, and that he should have never been barred from the game. Most damning of all is a picture caption claiming that the 1919 White Sox are "considered by many experts to be the greatest ballclub in major league history." One could make the case that they were a better club than the 1919 Reds, but I''ve never seen anybody claim that they are the greatest team of all time - "expert" or amateur fan.

Above all, the writing stinks. Hornbaker doesn''t seem to know basic English phraseology. Words like "however," "though," and "but" are sprinkled around at random, with no thought given to how they fit in the overall logical structure of the paragraph. Where was the copy editor?

Hornbaker should be ashamed of this work. It was a slog to read through, was full of inaccuracies, and should not be considered a proper work of baseball history. It is appalling that this book was a finalist for the SABR Ritter Award in 2017. I seriously doubt that anybody on the committee actually bothered to read it.
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ONELEGTOSTANDON
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A SWING AND A LONG FLY OUT !
Reviewed in the United States on April 8, 2018
I liked the book overall. I can''t say it was a good read though.. A dramatic fall from grace ...not really ! Would I buy it again ? Probably not . Not to steal the thunder of the book..but it was slow reading ...and dry. Shoeless Joe was not a victim , but he was a victim... See more
I liked the book overall. I can''t say it was a good read though.. A dramatic fall from grace ...not really ! Would I buy it again ? Probably not . Not to steal the thunder of the book..but it was slow reading ...and dry. Shoeless Joe was not a victim , but he was a victim of a poor education mostly which profoundly weakened the general character of the ballplayer he was...Not a tragedy but a OH , WELL ...life''s missed opportunity !
The book itself is well documented and mostly an easy read...with a lot research garnered from the sports and town paper headlines.
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Bill EmblomTop Contributor: Baseball
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A First Rate Volume on Joe Jackson
Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2016
This isn''t the first biography of Joe Jackson but I believe it is the one that is most complete. Author Tim Hornbaker includes a great deal of information regarding Jackson''s career with the Cleveland Indians and it isn''t until approximately page 150 that the book deals... See more
This isn''t the first biography of Joe Jackson but I believe it is the one that is most complete. Author Tim Hornbaker includes a great deal of information regarding Jackson''s career with the Cleveland Indians and it isn''t until approximately page 150 that the book deals with the birth of the Black Sox conspiracy. Hornbaker realizes that much of this scandal is still not known nor probably ever will be. What was Jackson''s role in this fiasco? He was guilty. He took $5,000.00 and wondered where the other $15,000.00 was that he was promised. He was the leading hitter in the series and may have played to win but he did admit his guilt and then recanted his confession. Yes, Jackson was naive and was sucked into the scandal by Arnold "Chick" Gandil who planned to retire at the end of the year anyway and wanted to supplement his retirement with a nice nest egg from the gamblers.

We are left to wonder what would Jackson''s future have been had the Indians not been strapped for cash and needed to deal Jackson away. It''s too bad he was dealt to the Pale Hose, a team made up of separate cliques. Maybe things would have been changed had there not been a festering feud between Sox'' owner Charles Comiskey and American League President Ban Johnson.

I have two letters I received from J. G. Taylor Spink, publisher of The Sporting News and one of the official scorers of the 1919 World Series and a personal friend of Joe Jackson. Spink states, "They were all guilty."

Author Hornbaker has written very interesting books on White Sox owner Charles Comiskey and Ty Cobb and he has added another worthy
addition to anyone''s baseball library with this volume on Joe Jackson. The book contains sixteen pages of photographs many of which I haven''t seen before.
47 people found this helpful
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Jim R
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Hall of Fame for Joe Jackson
Reviewed in the United States on September 12, 2019
The research done to complete this book was rather thorough. The author made a good case of why Shoeless Joe Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame. However, I know the author concluded this book in agreement with the baseball commissioner when Jackson was banned from... See more
The research done to complete this book was rather thorough. The author made a good case of why Shoeless Joe Jackson should be in the Hall of Fame. However, I know the author concluded this book in agreement with the baseball commissioner when Jackson was banned from baseball. Yet a jury found all of players not guilty of any crime! And Jackson hit .375 during the series. I believe it is very unfortunate that Shoeless Joe Jackson is not in the baseball Hall of Fame. I cannot help but believe the commissioner acted out of embarrassment and arbitrarily made this decision even after all “evidence” was presented at the trial, which concluded with not guilty!
One person found this helpful
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The Godfather
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A very interesting character
Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2016
I first heard about Shoeless Joe Jackson when I was a boy and over the years would hear his name mentioned from time to time. The "Field of Dreams" movie brought the name back again. Recently, I watched the movie again and it made me curious so I looked up books... See more
I first heard about Shoeless Joe Jackson when I was a boy and over the years would hear his name mentioned from time to time. The "Field of Dreams" movie brought the name back again. Recently, I watched the movie again and it made me curious so I looked up books on him and this seemed the best. It was a good read and very interesting. I had no idea that he was as great a ballplayer as he was. To be on a par with Ty Cobb and to have influenced the likes of Babe Ruth is impressive. So is his .356 lifetime batting average. He was an interesting character off the field, too. This book covers so many facets of Jackson''s life. Knowing his stats in baseball and his impact on the game and the company he kept made it all the more tragic that he was banned from the game. One can only imagine what he could have accomplished, given a full career. I was disappointed in a sense and held back a star because I expected the book to present facts that exonerated Jackson regarding the 1919 World Series fix. Evidence on both sides is presented. Exoneration could not get back the career Jackson missed but it could have him recognized by Cooperstown. It''s a shame that a player of his abilities and achievements is remembered more for one ill-advised act than for the years of productivity on the field.
14 people found this helpful
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Dr. Bob Stouffer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Well-Researched Documentary on Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox Scandal
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2017
I played baseball as a kid. I understand the game. I loved baseball. I still love watching baseball. I am a Chicago Cubs fan, so 2016 was a momentous year for me. I now live in Greenville, South Carolina after living my entire life in Iowa. Anyone who knows baseball... See more
I played baseball as a kid. I understand the game. I loved baseball. I still love watching baseball. I am a Chicago Cubs fan, so 2016 was a momentous year for me. I now live in Greenville, South Carolina after living my entire life in Iowa. Anyone who knows baseball knows that the famous Shoeless Joe Jackson was born, grew up, and lived most of his life in Greenville. As an avid baseball fan, I have always been fascinated by the 1919 Chicago White Sox World Series scandal which led to the terms "Black Sox" and "8 Men Out." So I thought it was about time that I read a well-researched book about the "fixing" of that World Series and Shoeless Joe Jackson''s association with the events which have kept him out of Cooperstown. Tim Hornbaker did a masterful job of holding my attention from start-to-finish. This "dead ball" era of baseball included some of the greatest men to ever play the game of baseball: Jackson, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner. Shoeless Joe''s regular season statistics alone qualified him for the Hall of Fame, but, unfortunately, he was caught up in a dishonorable, illegal situation; even if he maintained his innocence until his death in 1951, the bottom line was that he suffered the natural, logical, and tragic consequences of that association. In the scandal''s best light, he was naive and foolish; in the worst, dishonorable, greedy, and narcissistic. I give him the benefit of the doubt. After reading Hornbaker''s book, I would conclude he was a kind, thoughtful, loving man who unfortunately got caught up in a mess which forever stained his baseball reputation. If you love baseball and an excellently-documented real-life thriller, I would encourage you to read FALL FROM GRACE: THE TRUTH AND TRAGEDY OF SHOELESS JOE JACKSON.
19 people found this helpful
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M. Bergen
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A well-researched biography of an enigmatic baseball icon....
Reviewed in the United States on June 2, 2016
Very enjoyable read about an almost mythical sports figure. Fall from Grace chronicles the life of Shoeless Joe Jackson, presenting a fair and balanced examination of his career and his culpability in the Black Sox Scandal. The writing style is compact and efficient,... See more
Very enjoyable read about an almost mythical sports figure. Fall from Grace chronicles the life of Shoeless Joe Jackson, presenting a fair and balanced examination of his career and his culpability in the Black Sox Scandal.
The writing style is compact and efficient, and the book is thoroughly researched and footnoted. In some stretches it reads more like a dissertation than traditional sports narrative, but while it doesn''t deliver the flavor of the era like Ritter''s The Glory of Their Times, it is a thoroughly enjoyable read.
16 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good read
Reviewed in Canada on February 19, 2019
If you like baseball you will like this book
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David Pitts
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on April 11, 2018
Excellent book
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