Guest post from Kevin Trusty: “Rare Thievery For ‘Shoeless Joe’ In Cleveland!”

Guest post from Kevin Trusty: “Rare Thievery For ‘Shoeless Joe’ In Cleveland!”

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 Guest post from Kevin Trusty!

We all know “Shoeless Joe” Jackson was a great hitter. But he had many other baseball skills we don’t hear as much about. So, I think you’ll enjoy Kevin’s latest offering, as he tells us the story of…

“Rare Thievery For ‘Shoeless Joe’ In Cleveland!”

“I copied Shoeless Joe’s style because I thought he was the greatest natural hitter I ever saw. He’s the guy who made me a hitter” – Babe Ruth

Joseph Jefferson “Shoeless Joe” Jackson received many accolades in his 13-year major league career. His baseball life, although lengthy by Dead Ball Era standards, was shortened due to his role in the 1919 Black Sox scandal. Still, Jackson amassed a lofty .356 lifetime batting average and never hit below .308 in any full season.

Jackson’s 1912 season was no different in terms of being remarkable. He had a fantastic .395/.458/.579 slash line to go with 121 runs scored, nearly twice as many as the next highest player for the fifth place Cleveland Naps (Indians.) He also swiped 35 bases to easily lead the team.

In the featured photo above, we see a beautiful “Shoeless Joe” Jackson colorization by our resident baseball artist, Don Stokes.

Yet amid all the accomplishments Jackson showcased before and after this season, one gem of a game is often overlooked. On August 11th, in an 8-3 victory at League Park over the visiting New York Highlanders (Yankees), Jackson took four bases and scored twice. That he totaled up those numbers is not surprising, but how he did it is…

In the first inning, Jackson kept his name in the discussion with the great Ty Cobb as one of the few who could steal home successfully. But Jackson wasn’t done yet. In the seventh, Shoeless Joe achieved the rare “stolen base cycle,” swapping second, third and home in succession in the same inning!

At the time, Jackson was just the fifth player in major league history to steal home twice in the same game; and even today he remains just one of eleven players ever to accomplish the sterling feat. That he did so while also stealing all three bases in the same inning makes this even more remarkable.

No player has stolen home twice in the same game since Vic Power pulled it off on August 14, 1958. Ironically, it was against the Indians, at home, and nearly 46 years to the day since Jackson’s marvel.

While only eleven players have stolen home twice in the same game, swapping all three bases in the same inning is equally as rare. To date, it’s happened just 50 times in baseball history, most recently by the Dodgers’ Dee Gordon on July 1, 2011 in a game against the Angels. Pete Rose also did it in 1980. Before that nobody had done so since Harvey Kendrick in 1928. Some just players breathe rarefied air, even for one inning.

Nobody would ever consider stealing home twice in a game – or swapping all three bags in the same inning – easy or commonplace. But don’t say that to Ty Cobb or Honus Wagner. Each man had a stolen base cycle in the same inning an astonishing four times in their careers.

But I think we can all agree that for “Shoelelss Joe” Jackson, stealing home twice and capturing all three bags in the same inning all in the same game, was a phenomenal accomplishment!

Kevin Trusty

Visit Kevin’s Web page: https://radbournsrevenant.com/…/rare-thievery-for-shoeless…/

Sources: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/…/stealing_second_third_hom…

https://www.baseball-fever.com/…/t…/80231-i-stole-home-twice

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/CLE/1912.shtml

Photo Credits: http://www.blackbetsy.com/photosTheClevelandYears.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoeless_Joe_Jackson

Featured photo colorized by Don Stokes: https://www.facebook.com/Don-Stokes-Old-Time-Baseball-Colo…/

 

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I’m a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

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