Edited by Jacob Pomrenke and David J. Fletcher
Published by Eckhartz Press
Chicago — Eckhartz Press is excited to announce the release of its latest title, Joe Jackson, Plaintiff, v Chicago American League Ball Club, Defendant: The Never-Seen-Before Trial Transcript. This book contains the full testimony from Shoeless Joe Jackson’s dramatic 1924 courtroom trial against the Chicago White Sox and team owner Charles Comiskey in the aftermath of the infamous Black Sox Scandal.
It’s a scene that is almost impossible to imagine today: One of baseball’s biggest stars has sued his team’s principal owner, and they both take the stand to testify under oath about their contract negotiations, revenue and expenses, gambling, bribery and the integrity of the game. But this scene really did happen a century ago in 1924, when Shoeless Joe Jackson sued the Chicago White Sox for breach of contract, seeking $16,000 in back pay after he was permanently banned from professional baseball for fixing the 1919 World Series.
Shockingly, the revelatory details from one of the most compelling courtroom dramas in American sports history have long eluded baseball historians. The full story of what happened in that courtroom has remained hidden in the shadows — until now. The authors explain to readers the historical significance of this never-before-seen trial testimony and the story behind the publication of this rare transcript, one hundred years later.
Edited by Jacob Pomrenke and David J. Fletcher, two leading Black Sox Scandal scholars, here is the complete story of the trial, using real testimony made under oath by key figures in the scandal, including major league stars Joe Jackson, Eddie Cicotte, Lefty Williams and Happy Felsch; White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, team secretary Harry Grabiner and corporate counsel Alfred Austrian; gamblers “Sleepy” Bill Burns and Billy Maharg, sportswriter Hugh Fullerton, Hall of Fame Sox pitcher Red Faber and many others.
“Shoeless Joe — the iconic ballplayer whose legend was elevated in Hollywood films such as Field of Dreams — has a real voice in this 300,000-word transcript that reads like a movie script with a dramatic ending,” said co-editor David Fletcher.
In a twist that would stun the modern 24-hour news cycle and social media world, while the jury still was deliberating its verdict, presiding Judge John Gregory charged Shoeless Joe with perjury.
“Jackson stands self-convicted and self-accused of perjury,” the Judge said. Admonishing Shoeless Joe, “you came to the wrong state, to the wrong city, to the wrong court.”
“The trial ends with the judge throwing Joe Jackson in jail for changing his story under oath,’’ added co-editor Jacob Pomrenke. “This marks the final chapter in the complex legal proceedings that would forever become known as the Black Sox Scandal.”
Jacob Pomrenke is chair of the Black Sox Scandal Research Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and editor of Scandal on the South Side: The 1919 Chicago White Sox. David J. Fletcher is co-author of Chili Dog MVP: Dick Allen, the ’72 White Sox and a Transforming Chicago, which placed runner-up for the best Chicago nonfiction book of the year in 2022. Fletcher manages clearbuck.com, a website dedicated to the reinstatement of Black Sox third baseman Buck Weaver.
The E-book version is now available at Amazon.com
For more information, visit the Eckhartz Press website at https://eckhartzpress.com