Major League Baseball won’t reinstate “Shoeless” Joe Jackson despite an appeal from the former outfielder’s museum nearly a century after the Black Sox scandal. Commissioner Rob Manfred stated there isn’t enough evidence to overturn the previous decisions.

The operators of the South Carolina-based museum sent two letters to the league’s new chief executive earlier in the year. reported Tuesday that Manfred sent a response dated July 20 and decided it “would not be appropriate for me to reopen this matter.”

“The results of this work demonstrate to me that it is not possible now, over 95 years since those events took place and were considered by Commissioner [Kenesaw Mountain] Landis, to be certain enough of the truth to overrule Commissioner Landis’ determinations,” Manfred wrote.

Manfred also cited a review done by former Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1989, which reached the conclusion the situation is “now best given to historical analysis and debate as opposed to a present-day review with an eye to reinstatement.” Manfred agreed with that outlook.

Here’s the complete reply from Manfred, per the museum’s Facebook page:

As seen in the letter, he also notes the Hall of Fame voters during Jackson’s eligibility gave him just four total votes. Manfred believes those individuals, who had a better sense of the situation at the time, were more qualified to rule on it than he is.

Jackson finished his 13-year MLB career with a .356 batting average, which ranks third all time behind Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby, and he won a World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 1917.

The Fall Classic two years later will forever shape his legacy, however. The Black Sox scandal arose when eight players, including Jackson, were accused of throwing games against the Cincinnati Reds. The players were later found not guilty of conspiracy but were still banned from baseball.

Exactly how involved Jackson was in the scandal has become a source of debate. He hit .375 in the series, but he was alleged to have received $5,000 to throw games, per

Ultimately, Manfred decided there simply wasn’t enough new evidence to take a large step like allowing Jackson, who died in 1951, to come off the ineligible list after so many years.

That means a dark cloud will continue to hover over any debate about Jackson’s place in baseball history.


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