Just remembering an old myth
THE ABSURD TIMES
Illustration: "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. I've been asked a few times what I thought of the debate and I've really tried hard to think of something worth mentioning in it. Finally, I've salvaged a bit. When she started, Sarah Palin asked Biden if she could call him "Joe." It seemed phony to me at the time, but I had no idea how stupid the whole thing was. The only reason she asked him that, was so she could try out a line on him, "Say it ain't so, Joe." Someone in the McCain group thought this was be a crowd pleaser. No one got it. It is a line supposedly from the 1919 "Black Sox" scandal in Chicago. Some key players on the Sox conspired to throw the world Series and a boy supposedly and plaintively said to the great Joe Jackson, "Say it ain't so, Joe." Supposedly, Jackson said "'Fraid it is, son, 'fraid it is." Well, the whole thing was made up. Joe Jackson holds the record for the highest batting average for a rookie (.408) and has the third highest lifetime average. He was found not guilty, but still was banished from baseball for all time. Babe Ruth copied his batting stance. The team did throw the series, but that was because the players were ripped off by the White Sox management, Comiskey and all. I'd have done the same thing. It's the kind of behavior that finally led to the elimination of the reserve clause and the high salaries the players get today. Serves the owners right. I repeat, the whole "Say it aint so, Joe" bit was a lie. Made up. Worse, repeated by a hockey mom that should be playing goalie without padding. And it bombed. Does she believe it happened? Say it ain't so, Sarah. Below is an exerpt from the St. Louis Sportsman, a direct quote from Joe Jackson himself:"I guess the biggest joke of all was that story that got out about "Say it ain't so, Joe." Charley Owens of the Chicago Daily News was responsible for that, but there wasn't a bit of truth in it. It was supposed to have happened the day I was arrested in September of 1920, when I came out of the courtroom. "There weren't any words passed between anybody except me and a deputy sheriff. When I came out of the building this deputy asked me where I was going, and I told him to the Southside. He asked me for a ride and we got in the car together and left. There was a big crowd hanging around the front of the building, but nobody else said anything to me. It just didn't happen, that's all. Charley Owens just made up a good story and wrote it. Oh, I would have said it ain't so, all right, just like I'm saying it now."Sarah -- IT AIN'T SO!