Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred denied a request from the "Shoeless" Joe Jackson Museum to reopen the case of the Chicago White Sox player banned in 1920 for allegedly conspiring with teammates and gamblers to throw the 1919 World Series, museum president Arlene Marcley said Tuesday.
Manfred's letter, dated July 20 and appearing on the museum's Facebook page, said he saw no reason to overturn the findings of previous commissioners. He specifically quoted late commissioner Bart Giamatti, who in 1989 said, "The Jackson case is now best given to historical analysis and debate as opposed to a present day review with an eye toward reinstatement." Manfred added, "I agree with that determination and conclude that it would not be appropriate for me to reopen this matter."
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Manfred is said to be looking into a request for reinstatement from Pete Rose, who has been banned since 1989 for allegedly gambling on baseball.
Marcley, speaking from Greenville, South Carolina, said, "Joe was banned 94 years ago, he's been dead for 63 years. We feel that enough is enough, there's been plenty of time gone by. All the commissioner has to say is Major League Baseball has no jurisdiction regarding "Shoeless" Joe Jackson and just simply take his name off the ineligible list."
Jackson, who had a .356 career batting average, and his teammates were acquitted by a jury, but commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned Jackson and the seven other defendants for life by putting them on baseball's ineligible list.
Joe Jackson, the player's great-great-nephew, said, "My family's very much at peace with Joe's role in history. Joe had always said he didn't do anything to throw a game."
Marcley said she decided to appeal on Jackson's behalf after she saw the way Alex Rodriguez was welcomed back by Manfred after the Yankees' designated hitter served his one-year suspension. "He said, 'I believe when a man serves his sentence he deserves a second chance,' " Marcley said."I thought hallelujah, this is my guy and that's why I started writing him because I think Joe deserves a second chance."
Marcley said she did not believe Jackson was guilty but "I'm not going to debate that with the baseball commissioner because there's been enough analysis and historical research. There are authorities all over the country that have done nothing over this past decade but look into this."
Marcley said she has no plans for a further appeal.