Posts Tagged ‘Shoeless Joe Jackson Statute’

Shoeless Joe Jackson Comes To Greenville And Stays

April 12th, 2013

Joesph Jefferson Wofford “Shoeless Joe” Jackson was born in 1887 in Pickens County, South Carolina, just west of Greenville. He began his professional baseball career in 1908, playing first for the Greensville Spinners and then for the Philadelphia Athletics later that season.

Detail of Shoeless Joe Jackson Statute by South Carolina Sculptor Doug Young

In addition to the Athletics, Shoeless Joe also played for the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox.  After being banned from baseball in 1921, Jackson and his family moved to Savannah in 1922 where he started a valet service. Jackson left Savannah, returning to Greenville in 1929 to take care of his mother.

Former Location of Shoeless Joe Jackson's Home - 119 E. Wilburn Avenue

Jackson lived in several residences in Greenville until his death in 1951. His last residence was in a brick home located at 119 E. Wilburn Avenue in Greenville.

The neighborhood in which he lived remains very much unchanged, except for the fact that his house is now gone and the land is for sale (Keller Williams Realty – if you’re looking to build your “field of dreams” home).

Neighboring Houses On E. Wilburn Avenue, Former Neighborhood of Shoeless Joe Jackson

In 2006, Jackson’s home on E. Wilburn was relocated to 356 Field Street in Greenville and opened as a museum in 2008.

Former Home of Shoeless Joe Jackson

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum and Baseball Library is open 10-2 on Saturdays, or by appointment (call: 862 235 6280 or email: info@shoelessjoejackson.org).

Historic Marker Noting Last Home of Shoeless Joe Jackson

Reverse of Historic Marker Noting Last Home of Shoeless Joe Jackson

The home is located across the street from Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive.

Shoeless Joe Jackson's Home With Fluor Field, Home of the Greenville Drive, in the Background

The Greenville Drive’s stadium includes a tribute Shoeless Joe in its Heritage Plaza.

Fluor Stadium's Tribute to Shoeless Joe Jackson in Heritage Plaza

Part of the tribute recounts the story of how Jackson earned his nickname:

The “shoeless” Joe nickname is credited to Scoop Latimer, a writer for the Greenville News. According to the story, Jackson was breaking in a new pair of cleats in a textile baseball game. When his feet became blistered, Jackson asked to be taken out of the game. His coach refused, so Jackson pulled off his shoes. Later in the game, when he hit a home run, a fan for the other team shouted, “Oh, you shoeless son of a gun.”

In 2002, the town of Greenville placed a statute of Jackson in a plaza at the intersection of S. Main Street and Augusta Street. Created by South Carolina Sculptor Doug Young, the statute is quite impressive, with a wonderful likeness of Shoeless Joe just completing his swing.

Statute of Shoeless Joe Jackson in Greenville, South Carolina

A plaque commemorating the plaza notes that the base of the statute is made from bricks from Comiskey Park, removed during its demolition in 1990.

Greenville Plaque Commemorating Shoeless Joe Jackson and Comiskey Park

A plaque at the base of the statute recounts Jackson’s playing career and his ties to Greenville.

Shoeless Joe Jackson Plaque at Base of Statue in Greenville, South Carolina

Jackson and his wife are interred at Woodlawn Cemetery in Greenville, approximately 4 1/2 miles northeast of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum.  Much of downtown Greenville and the surrounding neighborhoods remain as they did when Jackson was alive. Brandon Mills, where Jackson once worked and played baseball for the local mill team remains well, as does the neighboring ball field where Jackson played (now named Shoeless Joe Jackson Memorial Park at 406 West Avenue). If you want to get a feel for the man many say was one of the best pure hitter in baseball, Greenville offers a living history of Shoeless Joe. The best place to start is his former house turned museum, which is literally just a short fly ball away from Fluor Field, home of the Greenville’s minor league team. Just make sure you are there on a Saturday.

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Comiskey Park The First

June 28th, 2010

Comiskey Park, located on Chicago’s South Side, was home to the Chicago White Sox for 80 years from 1910 to 1990.

White Sox Park, Chicago, Illinois (publisher unknown)

The White Sox’s ballpark predated famed Wrigley Field (Weeghman Field) by  four years.  The Cubs did not begin play at Wrigley until 1916.

Chicago's Famed South and North Side Ballparks (Joboul Aero Distributing/Colourpicture Publishers)

The picture below shows the single-deck seating along first base.  An upper deck was added to this area in the late 1920s.

Comiskey Park Circa 1910-1925 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

South Side Park, home to the American League White Sox from 1901 until mid-season 1910, was located just four blocks south of Comiskey Field.

Cubs vs. White Sox, City Championship series, Chicago, Oct. 9, '09, South Side Park (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.)

Demolition of Comiskey Park took place during the 1991 inaugural season of new Comiskey Park.  As is true with many former ballparks, the former site of old Comiskey Park serves as parking for the new ballpark.  In the photograph below, taken in 2003, the parking lot in the foreground is the former site of Comiskey Park.  The parking garage attached to the right of the stadium sits in the footprint of old Comiskey Park’s first base grandstand.

Old Comiskey Park Site Turned Parking Lot Adjacent To New Comiskey Park (circa 2000)

Another view of the former site of old Comiskey Park looking west, taken from Interstate 94 in 2001.  Notice the new stadium’s large upperdeck.  A significant portion of that upperdeck, including the upper 10 rows of seating, were removed during renovation of the ballpark in the mid-2000s.

New Comiskey Park and Old Comiskey Park Site to the Right as Seen From Interstate (circa 2003)

The front entrance of the new ballpark (for team officials and employees) sits just a short fly ball from the site of old Comiskey Park.

Entrance to Now U.S. Cellular Field (circa 2003)

The following shot of the employee entrance to the the new ballpark was taken from the roof of the parking garage that sits in the footprint of old Comiskey Park.

View of Entrance To New Ballpark Taken From Parking Garage That Sits In Footprint of Old Comiskey Park (2003)

When it opened in 1991, the new ballpark also was named Comiskey Park, honoring the memory of the old ballpark.  That changed in 2003 when the White Sox sold naming rights to the stadium to U.S. Cellular Field.

Retro Scoreboard at New Comiskey Park (circa 2000) Before Name Change

U.S. Cellular Field has undergone extensive renovation in its 20 years as a ballpark, including changes made to the stadium that sit in the footprint of old Comiskey Park.

Part of the Extensive Renovation of U.S. Cellular Field Was in the Area that Once Sat in the Footprint of Old Comiskey Park Including Addition of the Chicago Sports Pavilion

In the parking lot just north of U.S. Cellular Field is a granite marker noting the former location of Comiskey Park’s home plate.

Old Comiskey Park Home Plate Marker

The main building of the Illinois Institute of Technology, visible beyond center field (to the right of the tall building)  in the postcard below is also visible in the above picture of home plate.  The red brick building was constructed in 1891 and sits across I-90 from the old Comiskey ballpark site.

1950's Postcard of Comiskey Park (Plastichrome Postcard, published by Cameo Greeting Card Co., Chicago)

The home plate marker is located next to U.S. Cellular Field Gate 5 in Parking Lot B.

Home Plate Marker Next to Gate 5

The parking lot includes a recreated batters box and markings of the left and right field foul lines.

Third Base Foul Line of Old Comiskey Park

Straight away center field faces Toward Interstate 94.

Young Fans Block My View of Re-created Old Comiskey Batters Box

Although no part of old Comiskey Park remains on site, one curious artifact does remain in its original spot.

Chicago Sports Depot Sits Located At Former Entrance to Comiskey Park

Nailed to a tree next to the Chicago Sports Depot, near what was once the entrance to old Comiskey Park, is a sign that warns: “Resale Of Tickets At Any Price Is Prohibited.” Presumably the policy against ticket resales remains in place as well.

Ticket Resale Warning Sign From Old Comiskey Park Still On Site at U.S. Cellular Field

A tribute to Comiskey Park resides 700 miles southeast of the old Comiskey site in Greenville, South Carolina, former home of White Sox great Shoeless Joe Jackson. In the center of town is a plaza erected in tribute of Jackson, which includes a statute of the famous player.

Greenville, SC, Statute of Shoeless Joe Jackson With Bricks from old Comiskey Park

A plaque commemorating the plaza notes that the base of the statute is made from bricks taken from Comiskey Field after its demolition in 1990.

Greenville Plaque Commemorating Shoeless Joe Jackson and Comiskey Park

The White Sox’s decision to demarcate the former site of home plate allows fans of the game to visualize a small portion of the lost ballpark. Luckily for fans, the White Sox were careful to construct the lot so that parking is not allowed atop the former home plate.  The same is not true for the rest of the field and Season Ticket holders with access to Lot B, who get to the game early, can park their car on former infield, atop the pitchers mound, in the outfield, or maybe even where Shoeless Joe Jackson once roamed right field.

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